Former Manchester United star Phil Neville has said that if Raheem Sterling wants to move to Real Madrid, then he needs to prove himself.
Liverpool winger Sterling has been making the headlines in recent weeks due to ongoing contract negotiations.
It has been reported in the British media that the England international and his agent is not happy with the current offer and are asking for more wages.
These reports have not been confirmed by either the club or the player, and there are also suggestions that European champions Real Madrid are interested in the 20-year-old.
Neville, who featured for United and Everton during his playing career, has criticised the Sterling camp for the ongoing issues and claims that the youngster needs to perform better.
“If I was Brendan Rodgers, I would be sitting Raheem Sterling down today,” The Telegraph quotes him as telling BBC Five Live. “It’s a great lesson for younger players: I keep reading about how Raheem Sterling wants a new contract, maybe Real Madrid want to buy him.
"If you want a new contract, and you want to go to Real Madrid, the best way to get that move or that contract is to go out and score a hat-trick at Old Trafford like he should have done on Sunday.
"I keep saying I think Raheem Sterling is a brilliant talent, a wonderful player, but I think he needs to sit down with his agent and say 'you do your job on the contract, I'll do my job on the field' because in football, it's on the field where you've got to start doing your job.”
While Neville is correct in his stance, one needs to remember that Sterling himself has not publicly said that he wants to go to Madrid or that he wants more money. They are all ‘reports’.
True, Sterling did not score a hat-trick against Manchester United at Old Trafford in the Premier League on Sunday, but he was one Liverpool player who looked bright and was dangerous.
Even Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo would fail to do much with this current Liverpool squad replete with average players.
Perhaps Neville is a bit too harsh on someone who actually looks good in a Liverpool shirt at the moment.