Rodgers calm about Sterling future

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Published: Saturday 14th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists he is “relaxed” about Raheem Sterling’s contract situation despite claims that the latest discussions have failed to find a solution to a long-running impasse.

The club have tabled what a couple of weeks ago Rodgers described as an “incredible” offer – reported to be in the region of £100,000 a week.

A few weeks before that the Reds boss had suggested an agreement was imminent but latest reports suggest there has been no movement in negotiations.

Sterling only signed an improved contract in December 2012 and his current deal does not expire until 2017, which is why Rodgers is content to play a waiting game.

“There is nothing new to report on it. I am quite relaxed about Raheem’s situation,” said Rodgers.

“He is not going anywhere in a hurry – he has still got this season and another couple of years to go on his contract.

“I think it is quite obvious when you look at Raheem’s situation anyone with Raheem’s best interests would see Liverpool as the best option for his career.

“He turned 20 in December and he has made 114 appearances, which is a remarkable amount at a club of this size to be given that opportunity.

“He has made it clear himself that he loves being here and I think he was quoted as saying this is the best place for any young player to develop, so that makes me quite relaxed.

“I am sure the club and his representatives will find the solution for that.”

Rodgers has previously suggested the club would not be held to ransom by Sterling’s agent and said the contract offer they had made was more than fair for a player of the England international’s age and potential.

Asked why he thought a deal had not been agreed yet, the manager said: “I’m not sure. It is not in my area really.

“I speak to Raheem about his football and concentrate on his football and see what goes from there.”

Sterling and Jordan Henderson, who has been captaining the side in the absence of the injured Steven Gerrard, are the two players whose contracts appear to be taking most of the headlines.

However, with Liverpool closing in on a top-four place and having one eye on a possible FA Cup final, it is imperative they do not allow off-field issues to distract them.

Rodgers is confident neither player will drop their standards as he believes they are both focused on the job in hand.

“These are two players who want to ensure they are here for the future,” he added.

“The model of this club is to develop the talent and create world-class players and then, of course, it is important we keep those – especially when they are here already – and that is something we are working hard to do.

“The players are working well, they are concentrated, and that side of it they have to leave to their representatives and the club so we’ll just focus on the football.

“It is never easy but there are players, with all due respect, in League Two and League One who are working on six-month or one-year contracts.

“It is a lot more insecure at that level than it is at this level so I am sure they will cope fine knowing they have two or two-and-a-half years left on their deals.”

Liverpool will have to watch the race for the top four develop without them this weekend as they do not play until Monday when they travel to Swansea.

The squad has been boosted by the return of Gerrard from a hamstring problem which has sidelined him for seven matches while Martin Skrtel, after his head injury last weekend against Blackburn in the FA Cup, and midfielder Joe Allen are both fit. Defender Jon Flanagan has also returned to training after a long-term knee problem.

Published: Saturday 14th March 2015 by The News Editor

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