Real Madrid legend Zinedine Zidane has confirmed that Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling is on the club's radar.
The former French international midfielder, who is boss of the Los Blancos 'Castilla' team, has long been regarded as the next in line to the managerial throne at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Transfer track record
And, it appears Zidane is already heavily involved in the club's transfer activities in the Spanish capital, citing the deals for Gareth Bale, Raphael Varane and Isco as times when Madrid monitored players before making a move.
Reds star Sterling now falls into that category, with the reigning European Champions keeping tabs on the England international's activities at Anfield.
"We know who Raheem Sterling is, and of course we are monitoring him as a player," Zidane said, according to the Daily Mail.
"There are very few players in the world who can improve the Real Madrid squad, so it is going to make sense we monitor the progress of the best young players in the world.
"We monitored Bale for over a year, the same with Isco and also Varane.
"We monitor many of the best young players in Europe, then if we feel they have something to offer Real Madrid we will contact their club and try and make the next step."
Sterling has been in the headlines for the wrong reasons this past week, with the 20-year-old giving an ill-advised interview that confirmed he turned down a £100,000-a-week contract offer from Liverpool.
Things didn't get better on the pitch for Brendan Rodgers' side either Saturday, with the Reds suffering an emphatic 4-1 defeat at Arsenal. Sterling did win a penalty for his side but Jordan Henderson's effort was nothing but a consolation.
The Sterling situation is a difficult one, because you can't begrudge any professional trying to earn the absolute maximum during their career. Whilst talking about it in public isn't particularly smart, the reality is that this player could probably earn more than £100,000-a-week - at Liverpool or somewhere else.
Interest from Madrid only adds to the trouble for Rodgers, because Madrid pay big to put a team of 'galacticos' on the pitch in La Liga. There's nothing to suggest Sterling wouldn't receive such riches.
But forget about the money for a moment. Real Madrid is one of the few sides with even greater history that Liverpool on the pitch, and the current state of play is more favourable to Ancelotti's side. Who wouldn't want to play for the club.
It all starts with action on the pitch though, and Sterling's performances will need to improve if he is to continue to impress those watching from Madrid - as Bale did two seasons ago in the Premier League.
Liverpool fans, would you be mad if Sterling left the club for Real Madrid? Have your say below...
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