Raheem Sterling will sign a new contract, says Brendan Rodgers
Monday 19 November 2012
He might make more money elsewhere but Brendan Rodgers is confident that the opportunities Raheem Sterling will be given at Liverpool will make him stay. Saturday's 3-0 victory over Wigan was the 11th straight league game the 17-year-old had started, although the fact that his contract runs out in June next year has led to a frenzy of speculation about his future.
The size of his salary is thought to be the greatest sticking point. Last week Sterling tweeted that it was "rubbish" he was holding out for £50,000 a week, more than double what Liverpool are prepared to offer.
However, that tweet was swiftly deleted due to the sensitivity of the issue. Yesterday, he tweeted again, apologising for a collision that led to Wigan's Ben Watson breaking his leg.
When the Liverpool manager was asked if he feared an approach for Sterling from other clubs, especially in London, where he grew up, Rodgers said: "They would be wasting his time.
"Raheem is in a real good place. He has been given an opportunity here this season and he is thriving on it. He will tie himself to a new contract because he wants to be here. He can be a great at this football club.
"The message is very simple. We are trying to drive the club forward over the next couple of years and there will be a little bit of pain along the way. However, there are not many teams in the Premier League who are starting with three teenagers. And why would you want to leave one of the biggest clubs in world football? It's a no-brainer."
Having committed themselves to paying Joe Cole, Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing – three players with a very limited future at Anfield – a combined £200,000 a week, there is a pressing need to reduce the wage bill at Liverpool.
However, the Liverpool chairman, Tom Werner, yesterday gave reassurances that not only would his Fenway Sports Group not countenance the sale of Luis Suarez, they were prepared for substantial expansion in the January transfer window.
"Obviously, we have made some mistakes in the past," he said in relation to Liverpool's wage bill. "However, our intention now is to deliver a priority product and strengthen the squad but actions will speak louder than words. I don't want to say more than that. We know that January is a challenging time and I don't want to say that we have got X or Y lined up but, hopefully, the fans will be very pleased with what we do accomplish."
Two Januaries ago, FSG approved the purchase of Suarez from Ajax, the only one of the big signings made under Kenny Dalglish who still has a future on Merseyside. When asked if he would even countenance the striker's departure, Werner replied: "Absolutely not."
He added: "He is a beautiful player to watch and, as a Liverpool fan, I am hoping to watch him for many years to come. We made a long contract with him in the summer and we are going to see a lot of his play at Liverpool."
auctionThe first 23 lots have now gone. But there are 22 more still up for grabs
healthJames Bond's alcohol consumption puts him at 'high risk' of cirrhosis, tremors... and impotence
musicPolice chief rejects rappers' claims that his work is as dangerous as law enforcement or military service
comedy'Fresh Meat' star sees off stiff competition from Alan Carr, David Mitchell, Graham Norton, Lee Mack and Sarah Millican to win top prize
tvSpoiler alert: Find out the result of a heated final show
Beatles rush out 'bootleg' album to defy EU copyright law
Harvey Weinstein reveals his secret weapon on-set
Now that an oil trader's drinking has got him sacked, will we all have to make do with an afternoon latte?
Chiwetel Ejiofor and Idris Elba get nods for Best Actor, which no black Brit has ever won
Geoffrey Macnab reviews The Desolation of Smaug - the meat in Peter Jackson's Hobbit sandwich
peopleWhat advice would David Cameron give to his younger self?
Latest in Sport
World Cup 2014: Football Manager developers predict the team of the tournament - but which England player makes it into the XI?
Mikel Arteta queries scheduling of Arsenal's crucial showdown with Manchester City
Transfer news: Manchester United step up chase for Internazionale midfielder Fredy Guarin - reports
Ashes 2013/14 third Test: Is Waca on the way out?
Champions League last 16 draw 2013: Who could Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United meet?
- 1 French café starts charging extra to rude customers
- 2 Sun will 'flip upside down' within weeks, says Nasa
- 3 Australia incest case: Severely deformed children found in remote farming community after generations of inbreeding
- 4 Physicists discover 'clearest evidence yet' that the Universe is a hologram
- 5 Fox News presenter tells viewers it is a 'fact' that both Jesus and Santa Claus are white