Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling has given a subtle indication that his long-term future remains on Merseyside after stating in an interview with the Sunday Times Magazine that he dreams of hearing his own name sung at Anfield.
The 20-year-old has been the subject of intense speculation after seemingly stalling over signing a new £100,000-a-week contract, but the England international has made clear his desire to delay talks until the end of the season.
Sterling's stance has been met with frustration from some sections of Liverpool supporters, but they'll surely be encouraged after reading his latest comments which indicate an intention to stay put.
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"My ambition is to have my own song from the Kop," he was quoted saying by the Daily Mail. "Last season I loved the song for Luis Suarez - [Steven] Gerrard and [Philippe] Coutinho have good ones too.
"Of course, when the crowd’s with you, there’s nothing better."
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The second part of that quote could also be interpreted as Sterling's acknowledgement of the dissatisfaction he's caused the Liverpool faithful, but he can quite easily change their opinion by continuing to produce impressive performances on the pitch for Brendan Rodgers's side.
With a number of top European suitors reportedly keeping tabs on the fleet-footed forward, though, you can sympathise with some supporters that are worried about losing one of the club's most exciting young talents.
However, it's worth remembering that Sterling still has over two-years to run on his existing deal, so it's not like the club are in any immediate rush to resolve the current stand-off.
Sterling's main priority between now and the end of the campaign will be on helping Liverpool get back into the Champions League qualification places, although the club faces a difficult task of closing the seven-point gap between themselves and Manchester City.
Top four race
Victory over Newcastle United in Monday night's showpiece encounter will bring the Reds to within four points of the reigning champions after they succumbed to a 4-2 defeat against local rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday.
Manuel Pellegrini's side have now lost four of their last six games in the league and are at risk of dropping out of the top four, with Liverpool ready to capitalise on any other mistakes they make between now and May 16.
Liverpool fans: Do you think Raheem Sterling's contract situation is dependent on qualification for the Champions League? Share your thoughts below...
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