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Thursday 8 December 2016

'We admire Raheem Sterling, that's no secret' New Madrid boss Benitez confirms interest

Raheem Sterling was left out of the Liverpool starting line-up at Stoke
Raheem Sterling was left out of the Liverpool starting line-up at Stoke
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez (R) presents new coach Rafa Benitez at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, June 3, 2015

Former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has confirmed Real Madrid are tracking Anfield contract rebel Raheem Sterling.

Sterling's Reds future is the subject of intense speculation after the winger refused to sign a new deal.

The 20-year-old's representatives also claim the player has told boss Brendan Rodgers of his desire to leave.

Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea have subsequently been linked with the England international, with Liverpool having already rejected an approach from Manchester United

And Benitez, who has been unveiled yesterday as the new coach at Real on a three-year deal, admits the Spanish giants are monitoring developments.

Rafa Benitez.jpg
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez (R) presents new coach Rafa Benitez at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Spain, June 3, 2015

"We admire Raheem Sterling, that's no secret," said Benitez.

READ MORE: "This is the biggest quality team I've ever coached' - Emotional Rafa Benitez returns as Madrid manager

"I know Raheem as a player but he is not part of this team so I won't talk about him."

READ MORE: Rafael Benitez appointed new Real Madrid coach

Liverpool maintain they have no intention of selling Sterling this summer, with the player still having two years remaining on his current deal.

Meanwhile, reports in Spain suggest ex-Liverpool striker Fernando Morientes could join Benitez's coaching staff as his assistant.

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