Liverpool will have to be wary of holding off on a new contract for Raheem Sterling with Real Madrid looking to sign the 19-year-old in the summer.
Carlo Ancelotti has put the Reds midfielder ‘on top of his hit-list’, according to the Mirror.
Brendan Rodgers’ policy of not giving Sterling a new lucrative deal above the £30,000 a week deal he is on currently is commendable and is done with the best intentions of keeping the young England international hungry at a young age.
Speaking last month and quoted in the Mirror, Rodgers had this to say on Sterling’s contract:
“When you reward young players too quickly – Raheem’s still only 19 – you give them too much too early and that will be their downfall. It’s a big problem because they lose their hunger.”
This is a fair assessment by the Reds boss but they must be careful not to let other clubs dangle deals, which will be much more than £30,000 a week in front of the player. These rumours surrounding a young player will be flattering and although his attention will be on football, as Sterling progresses he will realise that he is capable of and deserving of earning as much as the older players in the squad.
The form of Sterling has been outstanding and although Liverpool’s results haven’t been as outstanding so far this season as they were last term, Sterling is still a player that is growing in experience and confidence every single week and deserving of a renewed contract.
It is a fine line that Liverpool will need to thread in the coming months and years though if they wish to hold onto one of the future stars of English football. This writer respects Rodgers’ decision and he is in some ways right to aim in keeping that hunger in the 19-year-old but the longer a new contract isn’t drawn up there will ultimately be more clubs than just Real Madrid sniffing around for Sterling’s signature.
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena.