In the wake of comments from Raheem Sterling’s agent yesterday in which he declared his client wouldn’t stay at Liverpool for £900,000 a week before declaring Jamie Carragher a ‘knob’, Arsene Wenger says those kind of public declarations are unhelpful to clubs on all sides.
Sterling has felt the backlash of Liverpool fans who booed him at their end of year awards ceremonies (while some have probably got together to record a special edition of Ferry Across the Mersey with ‘comedy’ lyrics), but the Arsenal manager says often it’s not the player who is at fault when these things become public.
“I don’t want to single out people,” he said “but discretion is the best way to deal with things because once it goes public it is very difficult to master and you have so many opinions.
“I can understand the media is interested in that but for us it always adds difficulties once it’s public. I’m not sure that it is the player who causes the problem.
“Most of the time it’s not the player who causes the problems. They come as a package, that’s true, but the problems do not always come from the player. Sometimes they come from the package.”
Wenger is notoriously determined to keep any transfer information under wraps before deals are done, but admits there’s a symbiotic relationship between the media and agents that makes it tough.
“The agents are linked with the media many times and then their interest is to put the story public, and they do it.
“Even for the player, the best deals we have done have been when it is quiet, calm and secret.”