With contract talks said to be stalling, speculation continues to link Liverpool wonderkid Raheem Sterling with a move away from the club.
Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are the latest European giants reported hold a strong interest in the 20-year-old, but Liverpool and England legend John Barnes has urged the winger to stay put.
Barnes, who scored 84 goals in 314 appearances for Liverpool, was speaking on talkSPORT's Alan Brazil Breakfast Show.
Said Barnes: “It would be a blow if Sterling leaves, but how well is he really playing to warrant more than £75,000 a week?”
“He’s had one very good season and he’s not the finished article. He still has to improve, and leaving Liverpool now would be a mistake.
The retired left-winger also went onto warn the Jamaica-born youngster that leaving for pastures new quite frequently doesn't go to plan.
“We’ve seen it before with [Wilfried] Zaha leaving Crystal Palace and going to Manchester United. When a young player, after one good season, gets an opportunity to go, is that the right thing for his career?
“I think he should stay for four or five years and prove his consistency to show he can handle any situation in any country. It would be a bad move for him to leave [now].”
It is clear to many that the wage being quoted in various media reports is rather absurd for someone of Sterling's tender years, but it's becoming a trend with big clubs that to poach and tie down the best young talent you have to pay hefty fees and wages.
Luke Shaw of Manchester United is a prime example. While it hasn't been confirmed officially, reports have claimed he earns £100,000 a week at his new club. When Sterling hears about the salary of someone like Shaw, who's been making little impact in the Premier League this season, it's no great surprise he wants a comparable weekly wage.
Perhaps it's not all about the money though, young stars are ambitious and Sterling might see his ambitions unfulfilled at the Anfield club, particularly with the way this season has played out so far. A footballers career is short and if Sterling wants immediate success then he might have to leave The Reds in order to find that.