Raheem Sterling has left Liverpool bosses worried after stalling over his decision to sign a new contract, following strong interest from Real Madrid.
The England international has been a bright spark in an otherwise dull campaign for Liverpool thus far, and his meteoric rise from the academy has him earmarked as a player of world-class potential. As such Madrid have quickly registered a curiosity into his availability, with rumours insisting that they would be prepared to buy him next summer.
As such Liverpool have responded by offering Sterling a lucrative new deal worth £90,000-a-week, in an attempt to ensure that his future is pledged to Anfield while he continues his development. Now though the Daily Star claims that the prodigal winger isn’t ready to commit to the deal on the table, and is stalling while he makes the biggest decision of his career to date.
Though alarm bells aren’t being frantically sounded just yet - Sterling has two years left on his current deal - the fact that he is hesitant to put pen to paper is rightfully causing a stir. Madrid are known for their aptitude at prising key players away from clubs where they made their name, and the Spanish giants wouldn’t struggle in terms of offering the 19-year-old a blockbuster deal to make his decision easier.
Then of course there’s the obvious allure of playing at the Santiago Bernabeu, which most aspiring footballers consider to be the pinnacle of any player’s career. Taking to the field alongside the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale is an opportunity Sterling will find difficult to throw out, and if Liverpool can’t qualify for next season’s Champions League Brendan Rodgers could have a serious battle on his hands.
Sterling at Liverpool
For the Northern Irishman no doubt has Sterling at the centre of his plans moving forward, and the youngster’s importance has become all the more significant following the departure of Luis Suarez to Barcelona. With Steven Gerrard looking closer than ever to retirement, and summer imports Mario Balotelli and Lazar Markovic yet to find their feet on Merseyside, Sterling finds himself as arguably Liverpool’s biggest threat.
Of course if he continues his splendid performances it will do little to deter Madrid in their efforts. If he continues to refuse to commit his future to the club, the idea of the move being possible soon becomes far more feasible.