Media reports over the past 24 hours suggest Liverpool are actively engaged in discussions with Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling over new deals…
Liverpool’s ongoing struggle to find form this season has understandably taken the majority of LFC-related headlines but away from the pitch the subject of contracts has also filled plenty of column inches.
In particular, the present contractual situations of star players Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling have been the source of much conjecture and indeed concern for many of the club’s supporters.
Talismanic Reds skipper Gerrard is out of contract at the end of the current season and recently put the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons by stating he would consider a move elsewhere.
In a joint interview with The Telegraph and Daily Mail, published at the end of October, the midfielder commented: “I won’t be retiring this summer. I will play beyond this season.
“We will have to wait and see if that’s at Liverpool or somewhere else. That’s Liverpool’s decision.”
The 34-year-old has so far spent his whole career with his hometown club and previously it had been thought that a new deal would be a mere formality.
However, the unlikely prospect of Gerrard playing for another team becomes increasingly plausible the longer the situation remains unresolved; he is now only a little over six-weeks away from being able to sign a pre-contract with foreign clubs.
Fortunately it does seem that discussions are finally set to get underway in ernest this week.
According to widespread media reports circulating yesterday, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has spoken directly to the player’s agent and formal talks between the relevant parties will begin in the coming days.
It remains to be seen if the Anfield hierarchy offer their most-recognisable face a desirable new two-year contract, or the default one-year deal usually offered to over 30s.
One player at the opposite end of his career to Gerrard is winger Raheem Sterling.
The 19-year-old is regarded as one of the brightest prospects in European football and has already established himself as a fundamental component for both club and country.
Sterling’s form last season, and briefly at the beginning of this, led to intense speculation that reigning European champions Real Madrid were plotting a move to take him to Spain.
In an attempt to ward of such unwanted interest, and to reflect his growing importance on the team, Liverpool have been keen to tie the former Queens Park Rangers youngster down to a new long-term deal for some time.
According to today’s Independent, that is finally nearing fruition with a five-year contract on the table which will see Sterling triple his wages.
The deal is also believed to include a £60m+ buy-out clause to safeguard the club’s investment in a player who is likely to be a mainstay of their side for the next decade.
Once negotiations with Gerrard and Sterling are concluded, it is then believed that Jordan Henderson and Philippe Coutinho will be the next players on the contract renewal agenda.
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