By Kieran Maguire

27th Sep, 2021 | 9:23am

Kieran Maguire savages 'appalling' Man City-linked agent amid FA investigation

Man City star Raheem Sterling’s ex-agent Aidy Ward is symptomatic of football’s worrying commoditisation of young stars.

So says finance guru Kieran Maguire, speaking exclusively to Football Insider amid an FA investigation into Ward’s conduct.

BBC Panorama revealed evidence on 20 September that Ward tapped up players as young as 15 to join his Colossal Sports Management agency.

That is in direct contravention of FA rules, which do not permit agents to approach footballers under the age of 16.

Sterling was asked by Ward to speak to prospective new clients, though the forward denies that he ever discussed financial issues with youngsters.

The 26-year-old dropped Ward as his agent last year.

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Maguire, who provided insight for the Panorama documentary, claims Ward’s behaviour is emblematic of a wider problem in football.

“This, sadly, is a common feature of the modern game,” he told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams.

“A promising young footballer is worth a huge amount. If you’re an agent willing to break the rules, there is money to be had.

“If you can get them at the age of 12 or 13, you’re looking at commission for a few years off the back of that.

“The incentives to do the wrong thing are huge from a financial perspective. These children are talented, but they are still children.

“You’re not allowed to sign them under the age of 16, but agents will start to befriend them on social media. It’s pretty appalling.

“They might even offer to buy the player a pair of boots or a new console. They will also target parents in the same manner.”

In other news, Man City set sights on signing West Ham wonderkid as talks underway.