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Ex-midfielder Murphy on Liverpool's contract worries

Danny Murphy

Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy believes contract talks could be distracting some of the club's biggest stars.

Danny Murphy believes the contract situation at Liverpool is worrying and gave his verdict on who needs signing up as soon as possible. 

According to a report in the Telegraph, Raheem Sterling is stalling over a new deal at Liverpool as the offered £70,000-a-week wage is believed to be nowhere near the 20-year-old's expectation. 

Along with Sterling, who has more than two years left on his current deal, there is also concern over the contract situation of Martin Skrtel, John Flanagan, Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson and Glen Johnson. All of whom may be worried about their long-term future and struggling to concentrate on their game. 

''Martin Skrtel, who is arguably their best centre-half at the moment, has 18 months left and Glen Johnson's is up at the end of the season, as is John Flanagan's,'' Danny Murphy told talkSPORT.

''Jordan Henderson, the vice captain, also has 18 months left. They have offered him a new contract but it hasn't been accepted for obvious reasons - probably because they haven't offered the amount he wants.

''Stevie G, and we all know what he's done for the club, his contract is up at the end of the season and the other one of course, who is probably Liverpool's most valuable asset, is Raheem Sterling.''

The ex-Fulham midfielder went on to add that as a player who has been in a similar situation, he knows it can leave the players disillusioned by the club and ultimately affect performances - noting the importance of three of the six players mentioned. 

''If I was looking at it from Brendan Rodgers' point of view; Skrtel, Henderson and Sterling are three key players I would want to keep happy and playing their best football.''

Murphy's insight can be interpreted as the reason why the players at Liverpool aren't putting in the performances and getting the results they were a year ago, but it's an easy excuse to hide behind.

Gerrard, who is likely to retire at the end of the season, Johnson and Flanagan are the only three players that should have genuine questions about their future as their deals expire at the end of this season. Skrtel, Henderson and especially Sterling should have very few worries as these things take time and need to be well thought out - from the point-of-view of both club and player.

If there is nothing agreed before the start of next season then, rightfully, questions should be asked. Until then, the whole situation can be construed to be blown well out of proportion. 

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