Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has told reporters than star player Raheem Sterling will not be sold this summer regardless of whether he agrees fresh terms, the Mirror report.
The England international’s future has been the centre of much speculation in recent months after he revealed to the BBC his decision to reject a lucrative contract extension on Merseyside.
Ensuing reports in British tabloids such as The Daily Star have linked him with a number of clubs this summer, including Premier League rivals Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United.
With the Reds all-but assured of finishing outside the top four this season and subsequently missing out on a Champions League spot, Sterling’s personal desire for silverware has taken a setback.
As such, Real Madrid and even rivals Chelsea may appear as an enticing summer option for the youngster, the latter in particular representing an obvious bitter blow for the Anfield faithful.
However, Rodgers has assured supporters that no such deal will take place – even if Sterling refuses to extend his contract beyond 2017.
“We had a couple of good meetings. He came to my house and had a good chat on a personal level as well. Raheem won’t be going anywhere this summer, even if there’s not a deal agreed,” Rodgers said.
Fortunately for Liverpool, Sterling’s contract doesn’t expire until 2017 meaning they aren’t in the vulnerable position of either having to sell early or risk losing him on a free 12 months down the line.
The 20-year-old’s stock has risen greatly over the past 18 months, but he is by no means the finished article and the Reds have total control over a potential price tag – at least for another year.
If Sterling harbours ambitions of leaving Merseyside for a bigger club, he will need to perform and prove his worth next season at Anfield regardless, leaving the Reds in a no-lose situation.
Logic would point to the winger signing a new deal this summer, but even if he doesn’t, owing to Rodgers’ promise of not selling him, supporters have no need to fret over the situation just yet.