Liverpool F.C. winger Raheem Sterling continues to be linked with a summer exit from Anfield following the Reds’ failure to qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League.
The England international, 20, is out of a contract in the summer of 2017, and will likely attract interest from several of Europe’s top football clubs when the transfer window re-opens in July.
According to reports, Champions League semi-finalists Bayern Munich and Real Madrid have been monitoring Sterling this season, and it seems increasingly unlikely he will stay on Merseyside.
“I think it will be very difficult for him to stay at Liverpool now. He’s shown all the signs that he’s ready and prepared to leave the club,” Phil Thompson told Sky Sports.
“But if he was to stay I would like to think his role will be on the flanks – I don’t think Liverpool can even contemplate him being their main striker next season, because he’s not a natural goalscorer.
“Liverpool need somebody who’s going to get you at least 15 league goals and maybe 25 overall – Raheem Sterling is not going to get you that.
“He’s done well for the team – he’s helped them out up front this season, but I think everyone can see that he’s not quite strong enough for it.
“So, no matter where he is next season, I think his best role is out wide rather than through the middle.”
Valencia want to keep Otamendi
Valencia sporting director Francisco Rufete has revealed the club have no intention of selling highly-rated defender Nicolas Otamendi this summer.
The Argentina international, who is contracted to the Mestalla until June 2019, has enjoyed a fantastic debut campaign for Los Che, leading a back line which has conceded just 29 goals in 36 La Liga games in 2014/15.
Only Atletico Madrid and Barcelona have conceded fewer goals, 19 and 28 respectively, in Spain’s top flight this term.
“We are very clear about Otamendi,” Rufete said. “We want him to play for us for a long time to come. Nico knows that and so far he’s not come to me to say he wants to speak about things being different from that.
“As soon as the season is over, we’ll be talking to him about staying for longer.”
Otamendi, formerly of Vélez Sarsfield and FC Porto, has scored four goals in 33 league appearnces for Valencia this season.
In other news, the agent of Chelsea F.C. goakeeper Petr Cech has confirmed he has entered contract talks with Turkish giants Besiktas.