Man City turn to Delph, Roberts, Pogba as Sterling bid rejected - sources
Manchester City have seen their £40 million final offer for Raheem Sterling rejected by Liverpool and will now turn their attention to other targets Patrick Roberts, Fabian Delph and Paul Pogba, sources have told ESPN FC.
City have now had two bids for the wantaway Sterling rejected, but the latest of £35 million plus £5 million in add-ons was their final offer and the club are not willing to go any higher.
Sterling, 20, has been embroiled in an ongoing saga over his new contract and appears set to leave the club this summer if Liverpool can agree a fee. His agent has said that Sterling will not sign a contract extension at Anfield, with the club reportedly waiting for an offer of around £50 million before they consider a sale.
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The winger has also been pictured inhaling laughing gas for a second time by The Sun and has been roundly criticised for his behaviour while in the media spotlight.
Sources told ESPN FC that City are not prepared to raise their bid for Sterling and will now seek to sign Aston Villa midfielder Delph and Fulham winger Roberts, for whom a deal of £5 million with another £5 million in add-ons has already been agreed.
Delph, 25, would have been a free agent this summer but penned a new four-and-a-half year deal in January. However, the England midfielder could be persuaded to leave Villa after a poor season in the Premier League saw them narrowly avoid relegation.
City have made young English players a key part of their summer transfer policy as they struggle with the Premier League's homegrown rules.
The club have already let Frank Lampard, James Milner, Micah Richards, Scott Sinclair and Dedryck Boyata leave and will need at least five homegrown players added to reach the required quota of eight if they are to maintain a squad of 25 senior players through the season.
Reports have suggested that Arsenal's Jack Wilshere is also a target, while Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba -- despite not counting as a homegrown player, and considering that he would cost upwards of £70 million -- may yet return to City's radar as they seek to strengthen for the start of the 2015-16 Premier League season.