The Express cite reports as claiming that Sterling, 19, would be open to a move away from Anfield in the near future - and Chelsea are set to test Liverpool’s resolve by tabling a huge offer for the England international, who is widely regarded as one of the best young players in European football at present.
Liverpool desperate for Sterling to sign new deal
Liverpool are desperate to tie Sterling down to a long-term deal and have offered the teenager a staggering £100,000-a-week contract to convince him to stay put, although both French champions Paris Saint-Germain and Spanish giants Real Madrid are reportedly interested in securing the player’s signature.
Sterling now has just under three years left to run on his current deal at Anfield and may consider the idea of moving elsewhere if he is not convinced Liverpool can match his ambition.
Liverpool struggling without Suarez
The Merseyside outfit went agonisingly close to winning their first Premier League title since 1990 last season, eventually finishing second in the table behind Manchester City, but the departure of star player Luis Suarez has had an adverse effect on Brendan Rodgers’ side.
Rodgers has been a key figure in Sterling’s development and the Northern Irish coach will feel confident that he can convince the youngster that his future belongs at Anfield.
However, Sterling’s agent may have other ideas. Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher told those responsible for offering the live-wire winger contract advice to “shut up” via Twitter last week, suggesting that stories linking the player with a move to Real Madrid may have been a ploy to squeeze as much cash out of Liverpool as possible.
That Chelsea are interested in signing Sterling should come as little surprise. Jose Mourinho is keen to build a team that will dominate the Premier League and Champions League for the next decade, and has already begun work on lowering the average age of his side by signing players like Kurt Zouma and replacing Petr Cech with Thibaut Courtois.
Mourinho is also keen on Sterling’s international teammate Ross Barkley - and it’s possible that Chelsea will make a bid for both players either in January or next summer.
Liverpool will be reluctant to sell Sterling to any club, let alone a direct Premier League rival, but a bid close to £50 million could still prove extremely tempting.