QPR were prepared to buy a house for Raheem Sterling’s family if he stayed with the club.
In fact, Gianni Paladini remembers he met several times with the England star’s family at the Kensington Hilton asking what could be done to keep him at Rangers.
Rs fans claimed the striker was let go on the cheap, but the former chairman insists he moved heaven and earth to keep the man who may hold the key to England's World Cup hopes against Uruguay tonight.
Nothing said or promised budged the Sterlings an inch, although Paladini reckons Rangers will hope a megabucks offer Liverpool would find hard to turn down forces them to sell to the likes of Real Madrid.
“Rangers will get 20 per cent of the sell-on fee, not that QPR probably need it right now,” he chuckled.
“The new owners have more money than ever existed in my time. Still, a £40 million sale nets then £8m - not bad, for a 15-year-old, eh? But I doubt Liverpool will ever sell him.
"He lived in Wembley, and we thought his family might like to move to a better house, and we put that on the table. But there were agents involved, and after all, Raheem was only 15; all he wanted to do was play football."
Sterling was sold to the Reds in February 2010 with Rangers in the Championship and destined to get through four managers by the end of the season before finishing 13th.
Paladini and then U18 coach, Steve Gallen, now Senior Development Coach, knew they had an outstanding talent, and the chairman insisted when all was lost, he had to get the possible deal for the club.
“Remember, he was still without a professional contract, and I could see him walking away for nothing. All we would get is compensation. Steve will tell you how much we tried,” he added.
“We got every penny we could, but we still knew he was headed to great things, and since we had Raheem from age nine, it’s a still a source of pride that he’s done as well as he has.”