Raheem Sterling has revealed that he’s turned down a new contract with Liverpool.
The 20-year-old winger — who has become one of the hottest properties in European soccer after bursting onto the scene last season for the Reds and England at the World Cup — told BBC Sport that he is focusing on where will be best to win trophies in his career rather than cash.
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It is believed that Liverpool offered Sterling a vastly improved $150,000 per week contract (he currently earns $50,000 per week) but the former Queens Park Rangers academy product is adamant he doesn’t want to sign any new deal until the summer, at the earliest.
“It’s not about the money at all,” Sterling said. “It’s never been about money. I talk about winning trophies throughout my career. That’s all I talk about… I don’t talk about how many cars I’m going to drive, how many houses I’ve got. I just purely want to be the best I can be. I don’t want to be perceived as a money-grabbing 20-year-old. I just want to be seen as a kid who loves to play football and to do the best for the team.”
Wow. Open. Honest. Frank. Whatever you want to call it, Sterling was “trying to put the record straight” in the BBC’s own words but with clubs such as Arsenal, Real Madrid, Manchester City and Bayern Munich linked with a move for the Jamaican-born speedster, there may now be a bidding-war for Sterling.
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Interestingly, Sterling wanted to let Liverpool fans know that he is not a money-grabbing mercenary and had the Reds offered him a new deal this time last year when they were fighting for the title, he admitted he’d likely have signed it and for much less cash. So, is it about the money or isn’t it? I’m getting mixed messages.
The fact that one of the most promising youngster in the PL and European soccer (despite his down year in 2014-15 which has seen six goals and seven assists) would sit down to discuss his contract situation and leave plenty of questions unanswered churns up plenty of intrigue. Is Sterling worth more than $150,000 a week? He is just 20, but has displayed enough pace, skill and poise over the past 18-months to suggest he is.
If Liverpool won’t offer him that salary, plenty of other teams will. This summer is going to be an extremely interesting one at Anfield as teams in the UEFA Champions League and challenging for titles will make bids for Sterling knowing full well that he has two years left on his deal at Liverpool and the Reds could cash in on him now before his current deal runs down.