herald

Sunday 4 December 2016

cash in or hold out?

Defiant Liverpool ready to hunker down for battle of wills with unsettled winger

LIVERPOOL have called Raheem Sterling's bluff and told him that he will have to see out the remaining two years of his current contract.

After the club cancelled a meeting with Sterling and his agent Aidy Ward scheduled for today, owner John Henry left it to Brendan Rodgers to tell his unsettled star that he is going nowhere and can forget about a summer move.

"I think the ownership have shown their strength in their time here. They took over a club in a difficult situation and have established the club. And every opportunity they've had to show that strength with the player or other elements, they've done that," said Rodgers.

"They will show that power and that strength again. So it's simple. There are two years left on his deal and I expect him to see those two years through. And do it immaculately, as he's done so far."

Rodgers believes that Sterling is an unwilling participant in what has now become a contract stand-off.

"I am not sure it is the player causing the problem. They (a player and an agent) come as a package, that is true, but the problems do not always come from the player, sometimes from the package.

"You know how it works. The agent's interest is to put a story in public. Always the best deals we have done is when it was quiet and secret," added the Liverpool boss.

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