• Premier League

Liverpool confident on Sterling contract

ESPN staff
November 15, 2012
Raheem Sterling made his international debut for England against Sweden © PA Photos

Brendan Rodgers is confident that Raheem Sterling will sign a new Liverpool contract soon, insisting that the player and his family see his future at Anfield.

Sterling, 17, has 18 months to run on his current contract, but is in talks with Liverpool over a new deal, which the club hope he will sign once he has turned 18 in early December.

There was a degree of confusion last weekend, when Sterling reacted angrily on Twitter to reports that he had demanded £50,000 a week to stay at Anfield - the same wage as out-of-favour team-mates Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing. The teenager, who made his England debut against Sweden on Wednesday, dismissed the reports, adding that he would sign a contract on turning 18 - only to then delete the tweet.

Rodgers, though, sees no cause for concern. The Liverpool boss said: "I think it will be pretty straightforward. Raheem himself, his representatives and his family, they know he's at the best club he can ever be at for his development in both the short and long term. So that will be resolved. There won't be an issue there."

The Liverpool manager admits that he has been surprised by the progress of a player who only made his Premier League debut in March, and who was still playing in the England Under-19 side as recently as September.

"I have been surprised, to be honest," Rodgers said. "You just never know with young players. I think the biggest thing you can do with kids is give them a chance, so long as they're showing on a daily basis that they're worthy of that opportunity.

"And that's been the case with Raheem. Since the day I walked in here, he's improved, he's got better and that's a great credit to him, because he has to want to improve and become a better player. You can see he's done that.

"Tactically, he's becoming better all the time. Every Liverpool supporter and everyone connected with the club will be proud of his performance for England last night.

"He was a 17-year-old kid in that environment, and I though he did very, very well. He's earned that right to be there. He's been one of the top young players in the country this season. He's a real threat. He's dynamic, but he's still got a lot to improve on, and that bodes well for Liverpool, and the internationally after that.

"He's only going to improve, Raheem, through playing games at this club, and playing for the national team. He's a real talent, and one that has to be nurtured, both by us here and by the national team."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.