Harry Redknapp believes there is already a deal lined up somewhere for Liverpool's Raheem Sterling, as doubts surrounding his future at Anfield continue to persist.
Sterling, 20, has found himself at the centre of a rather unsavoury contract saga over recent months, with his current deal due to expire during the summer of 2017 and the player having confirmed to BBC Sport in April that he had rejected the opportunity to sign a lucrative extension.
The fractious relationship between the England international and Liverpool deteriorated further still in May after the London Evening Standard attributed controversial comments to agent Aidy Ward that claimed his client would not extend his stay at the club even if he was offered £900,000 per week.
Scheduled negotiations with Sterling, who was subjected to jeers from supporters during an end-of-season awards dinner, were shelved in the aftermath of such an explosive rant and the latest speculation from the Daily Mail claims Premier League runners-up Manchester City are pondering a £50m ($78.7m) offer for the player, having already seen two previous bids valued at £30m and £40m rejected.
While that remains under consideration, though, Redknapp appeared to suggest a transfer could already be in the pipeline.
"What are you going to get out of him if you force him to stay against his wishes? Somebody has spoken to his agent, no danger. There's a deal lined up somewhere, we mustn't kid ourselves," the former Queens Park Rangers manager was quoted as saying by the Liverpool Echo.
"There ain't a transfer that gets done without somebody speaking to someone. It's all done that way. Whichever club it is in this country, they'll have made an offer, had a meet with the agent or whoever, say this is what we can offer him, £150 grand a week, blah, blah, blah."
Although Sterling is said by a widely reported unnamed source close to the situation to have privately informed manager Brendan Rodgers of his desire to leave prior to the 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on 10 May, the Liverpool manager previously claimed in a press conference that he expects him to see out the final two years of his contract.
And while Redknapp insists that he would not expect the former QPR trainee to give up in the unlikely event that he did remain on Merseyside beyond the next transfer window, he insists a negative mentality could cause problems and that the forward should be moved on if that is what he wishes.
"He wants it, you say 'son, you're not going' but how's he going to play? He's not 'not going to try', he wouldn't do that. But if his head's not right, you've got a problem," he continued.
"You try to get him in on his own, you talk to him, say you don't want him to go but if he says he doesn't want to stay then I think you've got to sell him."