Tuesday 25 October 2016

sterling exit strategy causes anger

Raheem Sterling is set to tell Liverpool he wants to leave the club in the summer when talks between the two parties resume this week, according to reports.

It has been claimed that the England forward would inform club chiefs that he sees his future away from Anfield.

The reports said Sterling told Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers in person before the 1-1 draw at Chelsea earlier this month that he wanted to leave.

Liverpool have declined to comment so far.

Sterling is under contract until 2017 and, if he opts not to sign a new deal, Liverpool will have to decide whether to cash in on one of their most prized assets or risk losing him for nothing at the end of his deal.

Former Liverpool star Jamie Carragher was left seething as the reports came out.

Carragher said: "The thing I don't like about it, for a 20-year-old kid to be taking on Liverpool FC over a contract, to the pit of my stomach it just angers me.

"It looks like a tactic to me to try to force the club's hand.


"I can't get out of my head a young kid and his agent trying to take the club on. You keep your mouth shut and get on with playing football. How will he be thought of?"

Sterling has been urged to stay at the club by departing captain Steven Gerrard, who said last week: ''I think he should sign a new deal. Brendan is a fantastic man manager, he puts a lot of time and effort into every player in the squad."

Sterling said in an interview with BBC Sport last month that his contract impasse was nothing to do with money, rather about his desire to win trophies, after it emerged that he had been made what Rodgers described as "an incredible offer'', believed to be £100,000-a-week.

But that held little sway with Carragher.

He said: "Liverpool had a chance of a trophy this year, in the (FA Cup) semi-final against Aston Villa - where was Raheem Sterling?

"What did Liverpool do in the Champions League this year? Nothing. What did Raheem Sterling do? Nothing.

"The semi-final was one of the worst performances I've ever seen from a Liverpool team in a big game - not just him, the whole team were found wanting, but if he wants to win trophies he's got to deliver in big games, and he hasn't done that yet.

"I played with him and he's a great kid. He's not some flash young kid, he loves his football.

"I think for his football development, he needs to stay at Liverpool. He doesn't need to move club - he needs to change his agent, that's what he needs to change."

Sterling's agent claims reports the Liverpool forward is set to the tell the club he wants to leave this summer have "been blown somewhat out of proportion".


Aidy Ward, the 20-year-old's long-time representative, said he and the player were always scheduled to meet Reds officials this week and insists they will move forward from there.

"The story has been blown somewhat out of proportion," he said.

"Raheem and his representatives have a meeting scheduled with Liverpool later this week, and we will take proceedings from there."

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