Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says the club plan to speak to Raheem Sterling about a new contract, although they will not be rushed, amid speculation the England international has emerged as a target for Real Madrid.
It had been expected that Sterling would be remunerated over the summer for his excellent performances last season but, so far, a lucrative new contract for the 19-year-old has not been forthcoming.
The Mirror reports that this has placed Real Madrid on ‘alert’ and they are poised to make an approach unless Liverpool are able to commit Sterling to a longer-term deal before the January transfer window.
Sterling is under contract until 2017, so Liverpool would feel comfortable with the situation as it currently is, but the greatest area of concern is that the player earns £30,000-per-week - a paltry amount compared to the highest paid players at Anfield.
Rodgers says Liverpool will address the situation when the time is right, while he believes this supposed interest from Real Madrid is, at the very least, a demonstration of how well the attacker has been performing for club and country.
Rodgers not worried
“It shows that he’s playing exceptionally well,” Rodgers said at a press conference on Thursday.
“I think you could probably link Raheem with every club in the world at the moment. He’s a fantastic young talent.
“I’ve nothing really to add to it. There’s obviously lots of speculation every day about players coming and going here at Liverpool.
“He’s a wonderful boy who’s developing very, very well here. I’m sure at some point in the future, whatever contract we’re looking to work with will be sorted, but he’s still got three years left and there’s no rush from my perspective.”
Sterling has been the stand-out performer for Liverpool in what has been a difficult season so far, with the teenager having already found the net on three occasions in the Premier League - a third of the amount he scored over the course of the last campaign.
But while Sterling has been potent, Liverpool have stuttered, spluttered and failed to get into gear, with three defeats in their opening five league outings. They were well beaten by West Ham last time out, and things do not get easier with a Merseyside derby awaiting them on Saturday.