Brendan Rodgers has confirmed Raheem Sterling has brought an end to contract talks with Liverpool but expects negotiations to recommence in the summer.
The Reds have been trying to tie Sterling down to a new long-term contract for several months, but as of yet have failed to reach an agreement. It comes down to money with Sterling believed to be holding out for £150,000-a-week. Liverpool have offered £100,000-a-week.
With the season now approaching a critical stage, the 20-year-old has told Liverpool that he wants to put a pin in contract talks until May.
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Rodgers told reporters: "It has been made clear by Raheem and his representatives that he wants to concentrate on his football and see what can be resolved in the summer.
"For his development, this is the best place for him to be."
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There is no reason for urgency amongst the Anfield faithful. Sterling is still contracted to the Merseyside club until 2017. However, with Manchester City and Real Madrid lurking, Sterling will find it a lot easier to agitate a move away from Liverpool if his contract expires in two years.
Rodgers has hardly seemed convincing when talking about the situation around Sterling's new contract either. The Liverpool manager claimed in February that the club had made Sterling an "incredible offer" before it was later reported that the offer was rejected.
Sterling's discontent seems to come from the fact that Glen Johnson earns £110,000-a-week and Steven Gerrard earns £150,000-a-week. The young England international has been more influential than both of them this season and wants his new wage to reflect that.
Luis Suarez was also given a £200,000-a-week deal last summer, proving Liverpool have the money he wants. However, Rodgers is wary of the potential big money has to demotivate his star player.
Once Sterling is making big money, he may see no reason to improve his current game. While Sterling has the potential to become one of the world's best players, staying hungry and driven is key to reaching it.
There will be plenty of time for Sterling to earn the money he deserves, but it seems he has his heart set on getting his hands on it now. Liverpool have found themselves trapped in a corner and the only way to get out of it is to throw money at the situation.
Should Liverpool just give Sterling the money he wants, or is Brendan Rodgers right to play hardball? Give us your views in the comment box below!
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