The Daily Mail claims Liverpool are facing a fight to get Raheem Sterling to sign a new long term contract at Anfield.
Talks are thought to be under way over a new deal for Sterling and an upgrade on his current contract worth £30,000 per week.
However, the paper claims manager Brendan Rodgers has a fear related to the new deal and the after effects of Sterling signing on the dotted line.
“Liverpool face a massive battle to persuade Raheem Sterling to sign an extension to his £30,000-a-week contract at Anfield,” writes Neil Ashton.
“Rodgers fears players can fall into a comfort zone when they are rewarded with massive pay rises after showing some promise.”
Handing Sterling a new contract is not simply a tactic by the club to stop the likes of Real Madrid from coming in and poaching their best players.
Sterling has been one of Liverpool’s key attacking players over the last 12 months for both club and country and it’s fair to argue he’s done enough to earn himself an upgrade on what could be considered a basic Premier League deal.
Sterling’s representatives will argue that players who aren’t half as effective as the quick attacker are being rewarded more for their efforts, which creates an imbalance.
As for Rogers’ fears that Sterling’s performances could dip after he signs any new bumper deal, he can prevent that himself by utilising all of his man management skills as one of the best in that area in the Premier League.
One of the responsibilities for any manager is to ensure that the performance of key players doesn’t dip at important times.
It could also go the other way with Sterling inspired and feeling valued by a bigger contract, causing him to raise his performance levels even further as he looks to justify the bigger investment to the club and the fans.
Liverpool is the right club for Sterling and fans should be confident that eventually he’ll extend his contract and settle down for the next part of his career.