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Thursday 8 December 2016

John Aldridge: Jordan Ibe is the perfect man to replace Sterling

Aldridge believes Reds should let Raheem go

Jordan Ibe in action against West Brom duo Craig Dawson and Craig Gardner says his ‘mum has always kept me humble’
Jordan Ibe in action against West Brom duo Craig Dawson and Craig Gardner says his ‘mum has always kept me humble’
Raheem Sterling

Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge believes selling Raheem Sterling to Manchester City is a "win-win" for the club as they have a better replacement in Jordon Ibe.

The Reds have rejected two bids from their Premier League rivals for the England international, the last amounting to £40million, as they value the 20-year-old at £50million.

However, with most of the players scheduled to return to pre-season training next week Aldridge insists now is the time to cash in on the youngster - who has turned down a £100,000-a-week contract offer.

"Brendan Rodgers should let Raheem Sterling leave for Manchester City now," he wrote on sports social network Kicca.

"The sooner he leaves the better for all involved. All this transfer talk is making a mockery of Liverpool Football Club.

"Raheem is obviously a hugely talented player but Liverpool have a top replacement in Jordon Ibe.

"I think he's got as much, if not more, potential than Raheem and will go on to be a better player.

"Sterling is obviously too young to think for himself so his agent (Aidy Ward) has been doing his thinking for him.

"For the sake of Liverpool Football Club they should take the millions on offer and then everybody will be better off.

"Raheem will be a bit richer and Liverpool will be rid of a player who doesn't want to play for the club. It's a win-win.

"Manchester City are a big club and Raheem will get paid well and play Champions League football so he will be happy."

Meanwhile, former Republic of Ireland international Sean O'Driscoll is set to join Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers' coaching staff at Anfield.

The 57-year-old, who has previously had spells in charge at Nottingham Forest, Doncaster, Bournemouth, Crawley and Bristol City, is being brought in as part of the summer overhaul of the backroom team.

O'Driscoll has been offered a role on the coaching staff, although his exact position is yet to be confirmed, and while there are still a number of matters to be finalised the move is likely to happen.

O'Driscoll is understood to have found it a difficult decision to leave the international set-up, where he has been since last September, but felt working alongside Rodgers presented a huge opportunity he could not turn down.

Liverpool sacked assistant manager Colin Pascoe earlier this month and did not renew the contract of first-team coach and former player Mike Marsh as a result of a robust end-of-season review which examined why the Reds failed to retain their Champions League status in finishing sixth.

O'Driscoll has a good relationship with Rodgers, having visited the club's Melwood training ground to observe some of his coaching sessions, and shares a similar philosophy to the Reds boss.

Liverpool are also expected to promote highly-rated academy coach Pepijn Lijnders from the under-16s team before the start of pre-season next week.

Most of the players return to Melwood on Monday, with the exception of those who were involved in the later stages of the Under-21 European Championships and Copa America, with a number of signings seeing their team-mates for the first time.

Charlton teenager Joe Gomez is one of the six summer arrivals and he is keen to begin working with Rodgers, although it seems likely he will be loaned out for the forthcoming campaign.

"I met him and that was a defining factor. He was positive and has already shown he will give young players an opportunity," he said.

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