Liverpool talisman Steven Gerrard has demanded that his club offer Raheem Sterling a new contract amidst speculation that he could be ready to leave for Real Madrid in the summer.
According to the Daily Express, who carry quotes from the player himself, Gerrard has made a stern case for his young teammate to be handed a new deal immediately, with the playmaker desperate to see Sterling stay at Anfield.
The 20-year-old has once again been one of the most influential players for Brendan Rodgers this term, and his rapid rate of development has seen the likes of Real sniff around the situation, anticipating a blockbuster move in the near future.
However, Gerrard - who himself will leave Liverpool this summer for LA Galaxy - wants Reds chiefs to back up their intentions with a concrete proposal.
“They need to sign him (Raheem) now,” said Gerrard.
“He knows what I want him to do. Not just him, Jordan Henderson as well.
“When I was coming through at Liverpool, every time you got within a couple of years left, your contract would be renewed and there would no worrying or panic stage.
“But I see Henderson with a year left and I see Sterling – it (the contract talks) is in the paper too much and I know there is no smoke without fire.
"But I see Henderson with a year left and I see Sterling – it (the contract talks) is in the paper too much and I know there is no smoke without fire"
“So, for me, the message to the club is to get these done sharpish because these are the future of the club and I want to watch this team do well, in cup finals and challenging for the league.
“Those players, Sterling, Henderson – Coutinho and Sturridge who just signed up – they are the ones who are going to deliver, so it’s vital they get them done before it is too late.”
Of course Gerrard has plenty of sway at Liverpool given his elevated status derived from over a decade of glittering service, and fans will certainly agree with his stance that the likes of Sterling and Jordan Henderson need to see their futures secured.
With Rodgers’s men looking less composed than last season - and a great deal of speculation surrounding the manager's own future as a result - tying up Sterling on a long-term deal could be exactly what’s needed to boost morale.