Rumour Mill: Rafa wants Raheem at Real

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Former Reds boss Rafa Benitez is expected to be named Real Madrid manager and the first player he wants to sign is unsettled Liverpool attacker Raheem Sterling, according to reports on Thursday.

STOKE-ON-TRENT, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 24, 2015: Liverpool's Raheem Sterling runs out to face Stoke City during the Premier League match at the Britannia Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Benitez will be named the new boss at the Bernabeu following Carlo Ancelotti’s sacking on Monday and the Spaniard will be tasked with overhauling Barcelona’s dominance in La Liga.

It was inevitable that a side such as Madrid would be linked with Sterling at some point this summer and The Mirror‘s John Cross has been the man to make two-plus-two equal five by doing so.

Cross claims Benitez, who played a key role in persuading Sterling to move to Merseyside in 2010, wants to make the 20-year-old one of his first transfer targets for Real Madrid.

The first thing to note is that Cross is the man of ‘Luis Suarez to Arsenal‘ fame and an Arsenal reporter, this could well just be another attempt at unsettling Sterling.

It’s also difficult to see quite how Sterling would fit in at Madrid while they have Ronaldo, Bale, Isco, Benzema, James Rodriguez and co. all vying for the attacking positions.

Ancelotti has managed to fit those six into his side regularly this season but Rafa is far less likely to play such an attacking style.

Cross also claims Bayern Munich are “watching developments”.

If Real were genuinely interested in Sterling, Liverpool would be wise to look at some form of part-exchange deal – which could reduce the percentage they’d have to pay QPR.

Also in the rumour mill today: Bild backtrack on Klopp sabbatical report, say he’d take Liverpool job

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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