Chelsea are set to join Arsenal and Manchester City in a heavyweight battle for the signature of Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling.
Sterling’s talks with Liverpool over a new £100,000-a-week contract have stalled – this coming after an interview where the 20-year old stated he wasn’t motivated by money.
The youngster, who originally came through the youth system of Chelsea’s London rivals QPR, has also attracted interest from Europe. Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are also reported to be monitoring developments on the midfielder, who has played a key part in Liverpool’s campaign both last and this season.
He has scored 22 goals in 120 appearances in a Liverpool shirt. He has started all but three of the Reds’ games in the Premier League this season.
Reports suggest that Sterling is looking for a move to the capital. But, it is reported Arsenal’s lack of financial firepower needed to sign Sterling could open the door for Chelsea – however the Gunners say they are serious and are confident of reaching a deal.
Chelsea have made discreet inquiries about Sterling, who scored his first goal for the England senior side in their recent European Qualifier against Lithuania, and he says he is “quite flattered” about the interest he has been getting.
But, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says that Sterling is going nowhere:
“He’s got two-and-a-half years to go on his deal and he’s not going anywhere in the summer. I cannot speak for the owners but I have a good idea of what they would do. I know them well enough and for me it would not happen. Liverpool are one of the superpowers of football and the owners have made it clear that money doesn’t come into it. If the club doesn’t want to sell, it won’t sell, it’s as simple as that. Money has never been the objective for the club.”
“Whatever player — Raheem or anybody — it would always be on the terms of the club.”
“He still has two-and-a-bit years left of his deal so it’s not something we’re overly concerned about. I’m confident that at the end of the season we’ll find the solution.
Rodgers sad that he told Sterling he should be ‘honoured’ to wear the Liverpool shirt, the Merseysiders being the club that made the youngster who he is today.
However, Sterling’s recent interview has been a major talking point in recent weeks. Rodgers refused to say whether the club had decided whether the player will receive disciplinary action for the interview – Rodgers did admit that it caught the club off guard:
“There was no permission by the club, it was something that surprised us all,’ added Rodgers. ‘It’s part of the modern game. People who look after players and represent them have different ways of working. I’ve seen that over the years.”
“The last time we sat down it was the intention of the player and his representatives, and also the club, to put (contract talks) on hold. Obviously, Raheem has come out and made his feelings clear on that and hopefully now the focus will be on the football.”
“He’s a young player who is still learning and developing on and off the field. Sometimes you make mistakes as a youngster.”
“Our relationship is strong, which is important. He knows I’m working in the best interests of the club and for him.”