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Friday 2 December 2016

Brendan Rodgers: 'Liverpool are one of the superpowers of football and Sterling is not leaving'

Brendan Rodgers and Raheem Sterling
Brendan Rodgers and Raheem Sterling

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says forward Raheem Sterling will not be going anywhere this summer after discussions over a new contract reached an impasse.

The 20-year-old has been made what Rodgers described as "an incredible offer", believed to be £100,000 a week, but negotiations have stalled.

Sterling admitted on Wednesday that all the speculation over his new deal has been "a bit much" for him this season and he wants to focus on football.

READ MORE: Wenger: 'Raheem Sterling is a top player but I do not want to speak about a move'

Rodgers addressed the media at his pre-match press conference on Thursday and said about Sterling: "Concentration should be on his football. If his ambition is to win trophies that's aligned with what we do here.

"Raheem has two and a half years left on his deal and he's not going anywhere in the summer."

Sterling gave his side of the story in an interview with the BBC, something Rodgers did not seem impressed by.

"There was no permission (for the interview) from us. He will learn we all make mistakes in life, especially when you are young," Rodgers added.

"I think the kid has tried to put off all talk about contract and money. For now hopefully the focus will be on football.

"Liverpool are one of the superpowers of football and if the owners don't want to sell, they don't have to."

"I don't want to be perceived as a money-grabbing 20-year-old," Sterling had told BBC Sport on Wednesday.

"I think anyone around me can vouch for me that it has never been about money.

READ MORE: Raheem Sterling: 'I'm not a money grabber'

"It is about winning trophies throughout your career; I don't talk about how many cars I will drive or how many houses I've got.

"It is flattering to get a huge contract (offer). I just purely want to be the best I can be."

Somewhat embarrassingly for the Reds, Sterling suggested had the club made the offer at the end of last season he would have already signed an extension - and probably for less money than they are now offering.

That has echoes of the situation with captain Steven Gerrard, who said in January after announcing his departure to Los Angeles Galaxy that he would have stayed had his contract offer come in pre-season and not November.

Liverpool were criticised for their handling of Gerrard's contract and Sterling's admission he would have signed a new deal last summer when the club were riding high challenging for the title will set alarm bells ringing among fans.

"If, at that point in time, I was offered a contract, I most definitely would have signed straight away, probably for far less money than being said now," he said.

"I just think the timing was a bit off. It has been a bit much for me this season with everyone talking about it every minute.

"I keep hearing I've rejected all sorts of contracts. Me, the club and my reps have spoken about it and put talks on hold until the end of the season, so it's frustrating to hear the contract situation keep going on and on.

"I just wanted to get my point across on the whole thing. But, at the end of the season, I just want to sit down with the club and my representatives.

"I will definitely give guarantees when the season has finished.

"The fans get a bit frustrated with me because I'm not signing straight away. They can get on your back a little bit, but this is football and you have to accept these things.

"I try to block it out of my head, which is the whole reason why I've said I want to wait till the end of the season.

"I think they just see it as this 20-year-old boy being greedy. I just want to take the time to think about what I've achieved in my career so far, where I need to go and what I need to do to get better as a player.

"I just want to get through this season helping the club do the best we can do and hopefully at the end of the season be proud of what we have achieved."

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