Martin Keown says Liverpool won't be held to ransom over Raheem Sterling

Raheem Sterling recently gave an interview to the BBC explaining his contract stand-off.

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown has said that Liverpool won't be 'held to ransom' over Raheem Sterling, with his future on Merseyside up in the air.

In an interview with the BBC, Sterling confirmed he had turned down a contract and talks will take place in the summer over his future, and he said he didn't want to remembered as money grabbing footballer.

Arsenal have been among the sides who are linked with Sterling, but Keown said in his weekly Daily Mail #TackleKeown feature, he indicated that Liverpool will fight to keep hold of the 20-year-old.

He said: "He [manager Brendan Rodgers] will want Sterling to stay at the club for at least the next four years. If things don’t work out by that stage then maybe the club and the manager will have to have another conversation then.

"Maybe it’s a case of creating a contract with possible break clauses to convince him to stay. The club doesn’t want to be bullied but they don’t want to lose one of their star men.

"Liverpool will be desperate to keep him but they won’t be held to ransom."

Keown also feels that Sterling hasn't done himself in any favours by going public on his position: "He’s tried to say it’s not about money but he’d be better off not saying anything at all and dealing with this in private. But I think unless something happens quickly this could all end in tears."

Sterling has been a key figure for the Reds this season by playing in several roles and Brendan Rodgers is keen to keep hold of one of the club's most promising talents, especially given the injury problems for Daniel Sturridge this season and the departure of Luis Suarez last summer. 

Keown is right to say that it could all end in tears for both the club and the player. Liverpool could get short changed on any bid that may come in form him, while the player's development itself could also be hindered. It's an interesting conundrum the two parties face moving forward.

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch