A gamble taken by Manchester City and England star Raheem Sterling has reportedly gone wrong, with the Premier League champions now holding all the cards in upcoming contract talks.
It's understood that Sterling postponed negotiations between himself and the club until after the World Cup, in the hopes that some eye catching performances from the attacker would increase the pressure on City to meet his wage demands, according to David Anderson (via The Mirror).
However, whilst Sterling may have been an important part of England's run to the semi-finals, multiple missed chances and a generally frustrating tournament for the winger means City will be back in the driving seat during negotiations.
Sterling's camp assumed that a strong World Cup showing would either force City to accept Sterling's new wage demands, or at the very least attract some foreign interest in the player.
It's understood that a stalemate may well be hit when negotiations are resumed following Sterling's post-World Cup break.
Sterling and his camp remain convinced that at just 23 years of age, his value will increase. It's this expectation that is driving them to hold out for the wage increase they believe Sterling deserves.
City are taking a hard line approach to the situation too, and should the two sides fail to reach an agreement, the club will look to sell the Englishman to avoid him running down his contract and leaving for free in 2020.