London: Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is keeping an eye on Liverpool wonder kid Raheem Sterling’s contract stand-off with the Anfield club, and believes the winger can be a long term replacement for unsettled Nani at the club.
Direct transfer activity between the two clubs has been non-existent for decades but Sterling has so far stalled on agreeing his first major contract, alerting United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea.
It is United’s interest, which could appeal to the England winger and his advisors, the Daily Mirror reports.
Ferguson has a good record of developing youngsters into world stars and is building a team around England players such as Tom Cleverley, Danny Welbeck, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones.
Adding Sterling to that group has massive appeal for Ferguson although he knows negotiating with Liverpool would be a major obstacle.
Liverpool do not want to sell but are a long way off being able to offer him the chance of Champions League or trophies and boss Brendan Rodgers knows he will face a problem if Sterling decides he wants to go.
The player’s advisors met Anfield managing director Ian Ayre last week but were unimpressed by his offer, the paper reported.
City can outbid anyone, but Sterling’s camp fear he will not be a first-team regular if he moves to the Etihad, it added.