Last week several sources started to comment on a potential approach from Manchester for Liverpool’s young wing-wizard Raheem Sterling. First Manchester City and then Manchester United were linked heavily with potentially making an approach for the player who is currently in negotiations with a new contract at Anfield.
Earlier in the year, when the first reports emanated that the teenager apparently wanted extortionate amounts of money he was quick to defend himself. He went to the usual footballer soapbox that is Twitter to denounce rumours of £80k-a-week demands and he had a simple reasoning behind his delayed signature. Sterling was waiting till he turned 18.
That event transpired on Saturday; 18 years to the day that Sterling was born into existence in Kingston, Jamaica.
'There is no worry or concern - it will be resolved. I'm comfortable with it. The club is working on it very well. I've spoken to the agent; there's no problem. There has been a lot made of it but there are still 18 months left. He's a young kid and we just want to make sure that everything's right for him to be nurtured. I have spoken to Raheem. I've gone through what I'd call the core elements of his development.'
The delay in the agreement of his contract of would of course always bring with it transfer rumours and speculation. Some quarters have even reported that Sterling is becoming disillusioned with the pressure being laid at his door to sign and the continual reminder of how much ‘he owes’ Rodgers for his current high demand.
Without deliberately trying to stir any more than necessary there is a more likely avenue than a move to Manchester for Sterling.
Firstly Rafa Benitez is at Stamford Bridge; the Spaniard was the man who brought him into the Merseyside club in the first place back in February 2010 as part of his vision for the future at Anfield that Rodgers has now inherited with aplomb. A return to London may also appeal to the 18-year-old not to mention the obvious financial rewards that would be on offer.
However with Benitez clearly looking like little more than a stop-gap at Chelsea; a team lacking in a long-term vision other than hoping they can throw enough money at Pep Guardiola to take the reins in the summer does not suit a precocious 18-year-old.
Rodgers sees him as a fixture at Anfield for years to come and while personally I don’t buy into the ‘Sterling owes it to Liverpool’ chatter I do believe he owes it to himself to remain at Anfield for now.
Do you think Sterling may get tempted away from Liverpool?
image: © bernard-chan