England are facing a tug-of-war battle with Jamaica to secure the international future of Liverpool starlet Raheem Sterling.
The 17-year-old represented Stuart Pearce’s England Under-21 side earlier this year and was an unused substitute during the Three Lions’ World Cup 2014 qualifying clash against Ukraine earlier this month.
However, the former QPR youngster remains eligible to represent the country of his birth and is willing to listen to the pitch Jamaican president Horace Burrell plans to make when he flies to England this week to discuss the youngster’s future.
“Based on the FIFA rules Raheem is still eligible for us. We think it is worthwhile to speak,” Burrell told reporters.
The Football Association had looked set to secure the teenager’s future when he was called up by Roy Hodgson but Sterling is reportedly interested in representing the Reggae Boys having been born in Kingston where he spent the first five years of his life.
The winger’s mother has expressed her desire for her son to play for the country of his birth and Sterling will listen to Burrell’s pitch, leaving the FA sweating on his decision.
Sterling has made an impressive start to his Premier League career and has thrived under new Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, scoring his first senior goal against Reading a fortnight ago and becoming the Merseysiders’ second-youngest competitive goalscorer behind Michael Owen in the process.