According to the Telegraph, Raheem Sterling rejected an eye-watering £100,000-a-week deal from Liverpool and cast his future at Anfield into further doubt.
The 20-year-old, who has become a key player for the Reds in the past two seasons, has yet to sign a new deal with the Merseyside club and could leave for nothing at the end of next season.
Last summer, the Mirror reported that Real Madrid were prepping a bid for the talented attacker and effectively earmarked him as the long-term replacement to ex-Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
While the England international may not be at that level yet, Liverpool should be anxious that if no deal can be struck with Sterling soon then Europe’s heavyweight clubs will begin to rear their head in his direction.
With that in mind, we take a look at one reason why Sterling should consider the Anfield exit, either in the summer or at the end of his contract, and one reason why he should sign the deal he was last offered.
One reason why Sterling should leave Liverpool:
Although Liverpool are rightfully considered one of the top teams in England, there doesn’t necessarily seem to be a desire to match the expenditure of the clubs also vying for Premier League glory.
In very rare occurrences this isn’t a problem as money doesn’t guarantee success, but more often than not it’s the teams who have splashed the cash that tend to enjoy the glory.
After last season, the summer was the perfect chance for Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers to invest in the team and make sure there would be a much more substantial push for the title despite Chelsea’s huge spending. However, it wasn’t to be.
Liverpool went out and paid moderate amounts on what could be classed as gambles and failed to snap up some of the major European stars they were linked with for much of the summer. Not to mention key man Luis Suarez left the club for big money.
The worry for Sterling would be that Liverpool never step up their ambition in the transfer market and really challenge the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea and even Manchester United for the top players.
Sterling will no doubt be dreaming of multiple Premier League trophies and European success, but does Liverpool’s ambition make that a realistic goal?
One reason why Sterling shouldn’t leave Liverpool:
Sterling is a key component in a very bright and promising Liverpool side that has been in outstanding form in 2015 and has shown signs that they could soon put together a real push for a Premier League title.
Although it could be argued the Reds are lacking in experience, they certainly have shown they are improving weekly as their young players get more exposure to Premier League football and each other.
At Liverpool, Sterling has the chance to build a legacy and deliver the first Premier League trophy in the club’s history. Whereas if he were to join a club like Real Madrid, he would just become another 'Galactico' alongside the likes of Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Elsewhere, he could become just another name on the teamsheet, whereas he has the chance to put himself in the history books at Anfield.