Raheem Sterling: 'I'm not a money grabber'
Real Madrid target would have signed new deal if it had been offered last May
RAHEEM Sterling insists that he is not "a money-grabber " and would have signed a new deal if Liverpool had offered one at the end of last season.
The 20-year-old has been made what manager Brendan Rodgers described as "an incredible offer", believed to be £100,000-a-week, but negotiations have reached an impasse.
However, somewhat embarrassingly for the Reds, Sterling suggested had the club kicked off negotiations this time last year 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.
Sterling admits all the speculation over his new deal has been "a bit much" for him this season and he wants to focus on football at the present time.
"I don't want to be perceived as a money-grabbing 20-year-old," he told BBC Sport. "I think anyone around me can vouch for me that it has never been about money.
"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."
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 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 .
"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 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 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."