The England international has 'reportedly' turned down an initial offer of a new contract at Anfield prompting rumoured interest from Manchester United and Manchester City. Considering he once said he was waiting till he turned 18, which is this weekend, before he signed a new deal is this a fanciful rumour or could he really turn his back on Liverpool?
According to Goal.com Manchester United could be about to swoop for Liverpool and England sensation Raheem Sterling, a rumour first reported by The Mirror a week earlier. It comes with news that Sterling has reportedly rejected a new contract with the club and that has alerted interest from United in the player.
United are also reportedly after a former Liverpool youngster in Tom Ince as they look to replace Nani, who is expected to be sent packing at the end of the current season. Sterling turns 18 on Saturday and has been the breakthrough performer in the Premier League this season.
After a strong pre-season showing Brendan Rodgers showed faith in the talented winger who has since gone on to play 23 times for The Reds this season scoring once against Reading. His good Premier League form has also seen him earn his first England cap against Sweden in November.
Sterling has been at Anfield since leaving QPR aged just 14 in a deal worth an initial £600,000 but potentially rising to £5 million depending on various add-ons and clauses relating to international and club appearances.
Liverpool were keen to reward the youngster with a fresh contract when he turns 18 but Rodgers has reportedly upset the Sterling camp by claiming he would be ‘foolish’ not to sign a contract with the club and the apparent stand-off is now attracting the interest of United, and earlier in the week Manchester City were also linked with the player.
In November Sterling took to Twitter to defend himself after claims in some quarters that he was looking for £50k-a-week at Anfield. He said that he had ‘not asked for that stupid amount’ and also, good news for Liverpool fans, that he would be ‘waiting till I’m 18’ to sign a new contract with the club.
The reports therefore could be premature, as if Sterling goes by his previous comments, after the weekend he might be signing a new deal at Anfield.
While obviously playing for Manchester United is a great honour for any player the fact remains at Liverpool he will remain a starting player under Brendan Rodgers philosophy. Sir Alex would certainly use him but only sporadically compared to the game-time he gets at Liverpool.
This may well be empty conjecture once again and this time next week it remains more likely we will be commenting on Sterling’s new deal at Liverpool rather than a shock move to Manchester United.
So what do Liverpool fans think? Is Sterling really the contract rebel the press is making him out to be?
Twitter has reacted with typical polarization. Some finding the funny side of a potentially sensational story and others worried over a potentially sensational signing…
"@goal_intl: Manchester United make enquiry to sign Raheem Sterling from Liverpool." <-- Seriously?!! LMAO!!!— LiverpoolFC News (@LFCTransferNRS) December 7, 2012
BREAKING NEWS!!! Just like they did for RvP, Man Utd have made an official enquiry on Liverpool starlet, Raheem Sterling. #mufc— Father Confessor (@Max_Phlank) December 7, 2012
I pray Raheem Sterling shows some loyalty and signs a contract with the club. The club and Rodgers have made him the player he is. #LFC— Matthew Stone (@MatthewDStone) December 7, 2012
Haha yes!! Man Utd trying to get their greasy paws on Raheem Sterling #wonderkid— Jonathan Fordyce (@Fordy049) December 7, 2012
image: © kong niffe