Raheem Sterling joins Manchester City from Liverpool for record £49m fee
Raheem Sterling has become the most expensive Englishman ever after joining Manchester City from Liverpool for a fee that could rise to £49 million.
City have paid an initial £44m for the winger, which could go up by a further £5m depending upon add-ons, after he passed a medical and agreed personal terms. He will wear the No. 7 shirt.
Liverpool had rejected earlier bids worth £30m and £40m before they and City entered into talks on Sunday and the England international was withdrawn from the Merseysiders' squad for their preseason tour.
Sterling's move ends a saga where he refused to sign a new contract with Liverpool and when his agent, Aidy Ward, claimed the 20-year-old would not even agree a deal worth £900,000-a-week at Anfield.
Signing Sterling also means City have landed one of their three main transfer targets for the summer -- Juventus' Paul Pogba and Wolfsburg's Kevin de Bruyne were the others -- and gives them a first major addition for the summer. Their only other addition is the 18-year-old Turkish striker Enes Unal.
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Manager Manuel Pellegrini had said in March that City needed to sign a superstar and lamented their failure to recruit one last summer, when their focus was concentrated on defensive players.
Now Sterling has signed a reported five-term contract worth around £200,000-a-week and Pellegrini said: "Raheem Sterling is one of the best attacking players in world football, and I am very much looking forward to him joining our squad out in Australia later this week.
"He is a young player with outstanding ability, and I am sure the Manchester City fans will be very excited about seeing him in action for the team."
If Sterling costs the full £49m, he will replace Carlos Tevez, a £47m buy in 2009, as their record signing.
Liverpool have only recouped more money when they sold Fernando Torres to Chelsea for £50m in 2011, although QPR are due £8.8m of the proceeds of Sterling's sale as a result of a 20 percent sell-on clause.
Andy Carroll, who Liverpool bought for £35m in January 2011, was the most expensive Englishman ever before Sterling's move.
Sterling scored 23 goals in 129 games for Liverpool and will help City address the lack of English players in their squad after the summer departures of James Milner, Frank Lampard, Micah Richards and Scott Sinclair.
Only goalkeepers Joe Hart and Richard Wright, plus French left-back Gael Clichy, qualify as homegrown.
While Liverpool have sold Sterling, they have already made six summer signings, bringing in Milner, Danny Ings, Roberto Firmino, Adam Bogdan, Joe Gomez and Nathaniel Clyne.