Reds include Sterling in pre-season tour

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Raheem Sterling has been included in Liverpool’s 30-man squad for their pre-season tour of Thailand, Australia and Malaysia.

The Barclays Premier League club named their squad for the tour today with the 20-year-old England striker included, but Italy forward Mario Balotelli was a notable omission.

Sterling’s involvement in the tour comes after he failed to report to the club’s Melwood base for pre-season work on Wednesday and Thursday, citing illness, before turning up on Friday.

It was reported that the striker had also asked manager Brendan Rodgers to be allowed not to travel on the club’s pre-season tour as question marks over his future with the Reds rumbles on.

Sterling has been the subject of two failed bids, the second reported to be worth £40million, from Manchester City this summer and it is understood senior figures at the Etihad Stadium are continuing to monitor 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 £50million, which would equal the Reds’ valuation, but there has been no comment from the Etihad club.

Balotelli has been left out along with Fabio Borini and Jose Enrique, with the trio due to continue their pre-season preparations at Melwood, although their absence raises questions over their futures with the club.

Also absent from the squad are Philippe Coutinho, Emre Can and new signing Roberto Firmino, who have been given additional time off after international duty over the summer.

Liverpool are due to fly to Bangkok on Sunday ahead of their first friendly against a Thai All Stars side next Tuesday.

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