By Merseyside correspondent Cam Downes

Liverpool have rejected a £30million bid from Manchester City for Raheem Sterling, Football Insider sources understand.

City have tabled their opening offer for Sterling as they take the first steps to prise the winger away from Anfield this summer.

Football Insider revealed on Tuesday that City would start the bidding this week for the England international, who has also attracted interest from Arsenal and Chelsea.

Sterling has made it clear that he wants to leave Liverpool but the club are not willing to sell their prize asset unless they are made an offer they cannot refuse, which is likely to be above the £50m mark.

City are now expected to return with an improved bid for the 20-year-old. Manuel Pellegrini’s team have identified Sterling as one of their leading summer targets as they prepare to spend around £220million to overhaul a squad that ended last season without a trophy.

However,  it will not be easy for them to wrestle Sterling out of Anfield. The 20-year-old still has two years remaining on a £35,000-a-week deal, with club owners Fenway Sports Group making it clear they are not prepared to sell to a rival this summer.

City are also pursuing the likes of Juventus’ Paul Pogba and Wolfsburg playmaker Kevin de Bruyne.