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Saturday 20 December 2014

Sterling set to cash in with five-year deal at Liverpool

LIVERPOOL expect to confirm winger Raheem Sterling has signed a new five-year contract within the next 48 hours.

Negotiations with the 18-year-old are being finalised, ending the impasse of the last few months.

Manager Brendan Rodgers was always confident a deal would be struck after the teenager's rapid rise to the first team.

While that represents good news at Anfield, Daniel Sturridge's proposed move to Merseyside is in doubt, with Rodgers ready to turn his attention to Paris Saint-Germain striker Kevin Gameiro.

Liverpool have a £12million agreement with Chelsea in place for England international Sturridge, but negotiations regarding an agent's fee have caused a complication.

Rodgers hopes it is only a hitch as the player is keen to move to Anfield, but has a contingency plan in place should the deal collapse.

That will involve a move for French international Gameiro, but Anfield sources insist the Sturridge transfer remains more likely to go through.

Liverpool are determined to enforce a more careful transfer strategy under Rodgers.

There is a feeling the club have been perceived by players' representatives as a soft touch, willing to throw around Champions League salaries despite the lack of league success.

Hunger

Rodgers is eager to recruit players on incentivised deals.

He believes it is vital to maintain the players' hunger, fearing too many recruits over the last few years have walked into Anfield believing they had nothing left to prove.

The recently published accounts on agents fees also made sober reading, particularly for those who claim Liverpool have been modest spenders under American owners Fenway Sports Group.

Since the Premier League published figures on agents' fees for the first time, in 2009, only Manchester City (€48m) and Chelsea (€39m) have spent more than Liverpool (€38.4m).

Rodgers does, however, intend to push on with a £4m (€4.9m) deal for Blackpool's England U21 winger Thomas Ince.

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