Keeper backs $ 107m player
MANCHESTER City goalkeeper Joe Hart says Raheem Sterling’s mammoth price tag is just a part of the “business” of football and insists his fellow England international should not feel any awkwardness about his arrival at the club.
After making a highly publicised switch from Liverpool last week, Sterling is a chance to make his club debut in tonight’s International Champions Cup clash with AS Roma on an MCG pitch that continues to come under fire.
The surface, already criticised by Real Madrid boss Rafa Benitez last week, caused last night’s Roma and City training sessions – for which fans could buy tickets – to be moved to Lakeside Stadium and AAMI Park respectively.
Tournament organisers said the move was made in order to “protect the integrity of the MCG pitch” for the remaining ICC matches.
The $ 107 million transfer fee paid to Liver -pool for Sterling ( right) was the most Man City has ever paid for a player.
“I don’t think there’s any awkwardness,” Hart said. “We appreciate that to buy Raheem you have to spend a lot of money, we all accept that, we’ve all played against him and know what a player he is.
“We all know how the business goes, you can’t sneakily go and buy Raheem Sterling for $ 5 million, it’s just not going to happen.
“The price tag is the business side of things and that’s taken care of by the chief execs and the chairman and Raheem’s agent.”
After the departures of Frank Lampard and James Milner, City has re- established its English band of brothers with the signings of Sterling and former Aston Villa captain Fabian Delph.
Knowing the duo as he does from the England camp, Hart said he was keen to take them under his wing at City.
“I’ve been here a long time now and I’m proud with what I’ve done having been part of the team for that time,” he said. “There’s a few of us that kind of take it upon ourselves to welcome them to the club.”