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Wednesday 7 December 2016

No hard feelings over Sterling's move - Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool's Raheem Sterling shakes hands with manager Brendan Rodgers
Liverpool's Raheem Sterling shakes hands with manager Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool boss Brendan Rogers insists he has no hard feelings towards Raheem Sterling after confirming the club have agreed a deal for his big-money move to Manchester City.

Sterling was left out of the squad for Liverpool's pre-season tour to Thailand over the weekend after the two clubs finally settled on a fee - believed to be £49million - for the England forward.

The 20-year-old is understood to be undergoing a medical at City on Monday although Press Association Sport understands no official confirmation of the deal is imminent.

Speaking at a press conference in Bangkok, Rogers said: "I spoke to Raheem at length again before I left yesterday, so there is no issue and no problem.

READ MORE: Threats made to Raheem Sterling and his daughter prompt police probe

"Two clubs have agreed a deal and subject to a medical he will move on. But at this moment in time the interest is with the players that are here."

Liverpool rejected two initial City bids but once it became obvious they would increase their offer a third time, Sterling was dropped from the tour party on Sunday.

READ MORE: Raheem Sterling expected to sign £49m deal for City today as he undergoes medical

And the expected confirmation of Sterling's arrival at the Etihad Stadium later this week will bring an end to a six-month saga which has been acrimonious in spite of Rogers' insistence that his personal relationship with the player remains intact.

Sterling angered club officials in February by rejecting what Rogers described as "an incredible deal" - then engaged in an unsanctioned interview with the BBC two months later in which he confirmed he had turned the offer down.

The impasse deepened when Sterling's agent, Aidy Ward, claimed the player would not sign even for "£900,000 a week".

Sterling missed the start of pre-season training last week, citing illness as he sat out Wednesday and Thursday's sessions before returning on Friday.

He was initially included in the club's tour party - despite reports that he had asked Rogers to be excused - before City's move made his departure inevitable.

Meanwhile, Liverpool striking prospect Jerome Sinclair is in dispute with the club over a new contract.

The 18-year-old has around a year left on his current deal and the ECHO understands the player and club remain well apart on terms on a new deal.

Sinclair published a cryptic tweet on Friday suggesting all was not well with his Liverpool career and he was then not named among eight Academy players selected to go on the tour of the Far East and Australia with Brendan Rodgers' first team.

Sinclair tweeted: "Sometimes things just aren't meant to be! Exciting times though! New chapter pending, Can't wait to see where this year takes me."

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