Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling is close to agreeing terms on a new five-year contract with the Reds, ending speculation regarding his future heading into the January transfer window, according to the club’s manager Brendan Rodgers.
Rodgers expects Sterling to make the deal official prior to the Reds’ match against Fulham at the weekend.
“Hopefully it will be done in the next 24 hours. There was never any real issue, it was just a matter of time. We were always calm,” insisted the Liverpool boss.
Sterling, 18, has been outstanding for Liverpool this term, relegating last year’s £20 million signing Stewart Downing to the bench for both club and country.
The 18-year-old winger has featured in more games than any other Liverpool player this term, and has jumped through the ranks since joining Liverpool from Queens Park Rangers in February 2010.
Who brought Sterling to Anfield? Current Chelsea manager Rafael Benitez for an initial fee of just £600,000 that could, and will most likely, rise to £5 million depending on how many appearances the England international makes for Brendan Rodgers first-team.
Sterling has made 25 competitive appearances for Liverpool this season, registering one goal and two assists, with his most meaningful contributions coming in the English Premier League.
“I have always been confident that this was going to be the best place for him. The kid is very focused and devoted to Liverpool.His representatives know this is the best place for him,” added Rodgers.
“Once it gets concluded, he can start to the next part of his development and hopefully he can keep progressing.”
Wenger eyes new signings, Walcott stay
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that he has money to spend in January and that he intends to do just that, but only if he finds the ‘right players’, Sky Sports understands.
In addition to suggesting he will not be pressured into signings players, the Gunners boss insisted that it will be difficult to find ‘special’ players, who are available, in January.
“We have money, and why should I not spend it if it is to find the right players?” said Wenger.
Furthermore, Wenger has ruled out the potential sale of Theo Walcott in January, maintaining that he expects the Englishman to sign a new deal at the Emirates Stadium, Sky Sports reports.
When asked whether Arsenal would sell Walcott when the transfer window reopens in January, Wenger said: ”No, that is for sure. My gut feeling is that he belongs to this club and that I hope he will sign for us. I always am convinced he will stay.
“You never fix yourself a limit on financial restrictions. At the end of the day, can you pay what the player wants? And does it fit with your wage structure?”
The Frenchman went on to say that he has recommended to the Arsenal board that he wants to keep Walcott in North London, and that he expects the board to follow his demands.
Walcott has probably been the Gunners best player this season, but has only started six out of his 13 appearances in the Premier League, tallying five goals and four assists respectively.