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City offer £40m for Anfield misfit Sterling

MANCHESTER City have cranked up the pressure on Liverpool owner John Henry with an improved £40m offer for Raheem Sterling (left).

After an initial attempt to prise him loose with a deal worth £25m in cash and another £5m in players added on, Manchester City have decided to throw another £10m into the pot.

City's first offer was rejected by Liverpool who believe that, with two full seasons left on his current deal, they can extract £50m for the England international. But there remains a doubt about whether they will sell.

They played hardball with Luis Suarez in the summer of 2013 when Arsenal tried to trigger a release clause with a cheeky offer of £40,000,001.

Henry refused to budge, Suarez stayed at Anfield and almost helped the club win the Premier League before he was sold to Barcelona for £75m.

Manager Brendan Rodgers has said that he expects to see Sterling in Liverpool colours for pre-season.

Sterling turned down a lucrative new deal in January and has been the target of a stream of criticism from Liverpool ex-pros and fans.

With money no object at the Etihad and Manchester City committed to the pursuit of one of the hottest young talents in the Premier League, this is unlikely to be the last attempt.