The Reds will do everything in their power to keep England international Sterling at Anfield, but Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has reportedly made the 19-year-old his number one transfer target, according to the Express.
Liverpool yet to hand Sterling improved deal
Liverpool are yet to tie Sterling down to a long-term contract - his current deal expires in 2017 - or improve his £30,000-a-week wages.
Real Madrid, undeterred by the fact Sterling has just under three years left on his contract at Anfield, plan to pounce next summer. And the teenager could be tempted to make the move to the Bernabeu with a huge pay rise and the chance to compete for club football’s most prestigious trophies.
Sterling could be tempted to Spain
Sterling finished as a Premier League runner-up last season, but Liverpool are not expected to mount a similar title challenge this term following a difficult start to the 2014/15 campaign. Brendan Rodgers’ side are slowly adjusting to life without Luis Suarez, who was lured to Spain by Barcelona this summer.
Now Real Madrid want their own Liverpool star and have identified Sterling as a potential Galactico.
Real Madrid could sell Ronaldo to United
And the ten-time European champions may agree to sell Chelsea and Manchester City-target Ronaldo back to Manchester United if they can land Sterling, who is a decade younger than the Portuguese superstar and widely considered one of Europe’s most promising young footballers.
The idea of Sterling potentially joining Real Madrid has been championed by Los Blancos star Gareth Bale, who told reporters last week: “If you look at Raheem Sterling, I think he’s shown what a good player he is. He’s starting to perform more consistently.
“If he keeps working hard and doing what he’s doing, then he’s going to keep progressing and the sky is his limit.”
Ronaldo unhappy or happy in Madrid?
As for Ronaldo, it’s true that Real Madrid are reluctant to sell their prized asset, who scored his 261st, 262nd, 263rd and 264th goals for his current employers during Tuesday night’s 5-1 victory over Elche at the Bernabeu.
However, whether the 29-year-old leave the club next summer could depend on the player himself. Recent reports have claimed that Ronaldo is unhappy at Real Madrid after the club’s president opted to sell the likes of Angel di Maria and Xabi Alonso this summer, but the forward denied these claims following Tuesday night’s victory.
"It's all speculation, speaking about my future … My future is Madrid. I'm happy,” he told the Spanish press. "The season is going well and I'm not talking about my future, it doesn't make sense."