Raheem Sterling won't sign new Liverpool deal
Raheem Sterling has stunned Liverpool by insisting he will not sign a new contract with the club, according to widespread reports.
Sky Sports are reporting that Sterling is 'feeling bullied' into signing a new £100,000-per-week Liverpool deal, with the club insistent that he will not be sold this summer under any circumstances.
“Raheem won’t be going anywhere this summer, even if there’s not a deal agreed," said Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers last month.
"We’ve made that clear from the beginning. We believe we will find a way for resolve the situation in due course.”
Those comments now appear to be questionable because even though Sterling's current Anfield deal runs until the summer of 2017, he appears to have set his heart on a move.
Manchester City and Real Madrid are among the clubs believed to be keen to bolster the England winger's wage packet with a big money move this summer and he seems to have had his head turned by the prospect of cashing in on a transfer early in his career.
The latest development is another hammer blow for Liverpool boss Rodgers, who is coming under increasing pressure are a woeful end to the season continued as his side lost 3-1 at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday.
If Sterling agitates for a move, Liverpool will have a big decision to make on one of their brightest stars, with Anfield goal scoring great John Aldridge among those calling for a change of approach at the club this summer rather than a change of manager.
Former Liverpool star Jamie Carragher was left seething as the reports came out.
Carragher told Sky Sports 1: "The thing I don't like about it, for a 20-year-old kid to be taking on Liverpool FC over a contract, to the pit of my stomach it just angers me.
"It looks like a tactic to me to try to force the club's hand.
"I can't get out of my head a young kid and his agent trying to take the club on. You keep your mouth shut and get on with playing football. How will he be thought of?"
Sterling has been urged to stay at the club by departing captain Steven Gerrard, who said last week: ''I think he should sign a new deal. Brendan is a fantastic man manager, he puts a lot of time and effort into every player in the squad."
Sterling said in an interview with BBC Sport last month that his contract impasse was nothing to do with money, rather about his desire to win trophies, after it emerged that he had been made what Rodgers described as ''an incredible offer'', believed to be £100,000-a-week.
But that held little sway with Carragher.
He said: "Liverpool had a chance of trophy this year, in the (FA Cup) semi-final against Aston Villa - where was Raheem Sterling?
"What did Liverpool do in the Champions League this year? Nothing. What did Raheem Sterling do? Nothing.
"The semi-final was one of the worst performances I've ever seen from a Liverpool team in a big game - not just him, the whole team were found wanting, but if he wants to win trophies he's got to deliver in big games, and he hasn't done that yet.
"I played with him and he's a great kid. He's not some flash young kid, he loves his football.
"I think for his football development, he needs to stay at Liverpool. He doesn't need to move club - he needs to change his agent, that's what he needs to change."