Sterling's delay in signing deal sign of times for 'Pool
BRENDAN Rodgers must be deeply worried by the fact that Raheem Sterling (pictured) is stalling on signing a new deal according to Paul Ince, writes Paul Hyland.
And the former Old Trafford and Anfield midfielder reckons that Liverpool and Manchester United are falling behind Chelsea and Manchester City in the battle to sign the best talent.
"Liverpool haven't got that name now where players want to play for Liverpool. I never wanted to leave Man United. For me it was the best club in the world, now players are prepared to leave Man United to go somewhere else, leave Liverpool to go somewhere else. That shouldn't be the case," he said.
"Why would anyone want to leave Liverpool? It's a fantastic club," he said when asked about Sterling. "It looks like there is something going on. Why is there a hold-up? I find it sad that a young kid is prepared to do that."
Ince is watching Louis van Gaal take his first steps as Manchester United manager with some misgivings.
"It's a different team, different players, different system, different style of playing football but I just think the way they played against Tottenham was back to a "we are Man Utd!" style of playing, which I've not seen.
"The week before against Arsenal they were atrocious, absolutely atrocious. Man United have always had pace in their team, pace or power and I've always said, whether it's Robson or Keane or myself, you always had a powerhouse in there.
"Man United haven't got that. You look at the Chelsea team, it's a powerful team, look at City, Fenandinho, Toure, they're powerful players and they have a nice balance to them. I don't think United have that.
"I'm not too sure whether he's trying to get United to play like the Dutch team that he was in charge of. It seems like that to me but it doesn't work.
"I mean, you're trying to play Wayne Rooney in midfield. You've got the great goalscorer for Man United, yet he's playing in midfield and that doesn't sit right for me. You're trying to put square pegs in round holes. That's how I see it."