Liverpool are preparing to offer Raheem Sterling a bumper new contract next month in a bid to ward off alleged interest from Real Madrid.
The Sun on Sunday reports that the 19-year-old winger is set for a 300 per cent pay rise that will see him pocket more than £100,000-a-week; reward for his scintillating form at Anfield over the past 12 months.
Sterling has enjoyed a meteoric rise to stardom, and has become one of Brendan Rodgers's most important players, even more so after the departure of star striker Luis Suarez during the summer.
The England international has been earning rave reviews for his recent performances on Merseyside and is now widely regarded as one of the hottest prospects in the Premier League.
His fine form has prompted speculation that La Liga giants Real Madrid could make a bid for Sterling when the transfer window reopens in January, but Liverpool are eager to secure the young star's long-term future.
Sterling still has three years to run on the £30,000-a-week five-year contract he signed only two years ago, but Rodgers knows that he must bring the player in line with a number of the club's other highest earners.
The Northern Irishman is conscious of not giving the talented teenager too much too soon, but at the same time doesn't want to run the risk of losing him by refusing to pay him more money.
He turned in another man of the match performance during yesterday's Merseyside derby, which ended in a 1-1 draw, thanks to a late wonder-goal from Everton captain Phil Jagielka.
Speaking after the match, Rodgers commented on Sterling: “He’s a big talent.
“He has been brilliant so far and he’ll hopefully continue to keep that consistency.”
Liverpool chiefs are believed to have responded positively to the manager's assertions, and plan to begin negotiations with the player's representatives in October.
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