Liverpool media round-up: Sterling saga close to ending, cash to be used for Benteke

A selection of the latest stories in the media involving Liverpool Football Club this Monday morning.

The saga surrounding the future of Raheem Sterling is now drawing to a conclusion as Liverpool and Manchester City appear to have agreed a fee with Manchester City of around £49 million for the 20-year-old.

The Liverpool Echo, writing last night, said they expected Sterling to be confirmed as a Manchester City player 'within the next 24 hours' - with City having previously had two bids rejected for the winger, whose methods to force a move have caused a lot of fans to turn on him. 

The Daily Mirror reports that Sterling will be paid around £180,000 per week by City over five years - and they say Liverpool could use the cash from the deal in order to land Aston Villa forward Christian Benteke - who has been targeted by Brendan Rodgers for much of the summer and has a buy-out clause of £32.5 million in his contract. Liverpool should now be able to meet that. 

In terms of reaction to the Sterling deal, Liverpool legend Phil Thompson has told Sky Sports that the Reds have handled things well this summer, and got a good deal, but has criticised the actions of his agent Aidy Ward who has been a controversial figure throughout the saga. 

Thompson said: “His agent hasn’t nurtured him in the same way the club has. Just hasn’t been handled very well.

“He’s certainly a good player but he’s not a great player and that’s why you won’t find too many Liverpool fans shedding any tears for him."

Finally, the Independent have picked up on a story in Italy suggesting Liverpool could swap Mario Balotelli for Fiorentina forward Mario Gomez.

The story originates from Sportmediaset which suggests both sides could agree loan deals for the players. The writing seems to be on the wall for Balotelli, who has been left out of Liverpool's pre-season tour to the Far East and Australia. 

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