Raheem Sterling back to work but Gerrard slams behavior

Raheem Sterling resumed training at Liverpool yesterday, but that did little to quell the considerable speculation over his future.

The unsettled winger failed to report to the club’s Melwood base for pre-season work on Wednesday and Thursday, citing illness.

It came after the 20-year-old was reported to have asked manager Brendan Rodgers to be allowed not to travel on a pre-season tour of Asia and Australia.

Sterling has been the subject of two failed bids, the second of £40m (€55.6m), from Manchester City this summer and it is understood senior figures at the Etihad Stadium are still monitoring the situation at Anfield.

It has been claimed that City are now poised to make contact with Liverpool again, and are possibly readying a bid of £50m, which would equal the Reds’ valuation, but there has been no comment from the Eastlands club.

Liverpool are due to fly to Bangkok on Sunday ahead of their first friendly against a Thai All Stars side next Tuesday. The club would expect Sterling to be present but it remains to be seen how the saga continues to unfold and indeed whether the player does make the trip.

Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, who is preparing to make his debut for new club LA Galaxy this weekend, has expressed his disappointment over the affair and this week’s developments. Gerrard told Sky Sports News: “I’m not happy withall that carry-on. He needs to go in and see the owners. You don’t have to throw in illness, or refuse to go on tour.

“There are millions of Liverpool fans waiting to see Raheem pull on a Liverpool shirt. It looks very disappointing from where I’m sat. The fans have shown him great support, they want him to stay and I believe that he should too.”

Gerrard fears Sterling’s career could be damaged:“It’s very difficult for me to sit here and support him and the team around him... what they’re trying to do with his career at a young age. It’ll be a terrible shame if he goes somewhere and doesn’t kick on as a player.

“It’s slightly disappointing how far the situation has gone — but the only way I can see for him is out at the moment.”

Yesterday Liverpool confirmed that midfielder Jordan Henderson will, as expected, succeed Gerrard as captain. And defender Martin Skrtel has finally penned a new deal with the Anfield club. Skrtel, 30, would have been a free agent next summer if terms had not been agreed on a new contract, but talks were prolonged as the Slovakia international held out for a suitable deal.

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