Last summer, reports had Liverpool working on new deals for Philippe Coutinho, Raheem Sterling, and Jordan Henderson. Six months later, despite regular talk about new contracts being close, only Coutinho’s new deal has actually been done. Brendan Rodgers, though, is hopeful thing won’t drag out much longer for the other two.
"Both players are very, very important," Rodgers told the media at his pre-match press conference. "The club recognise that and I can only hope as the manager that the situation will be resolved very soon. What the club has offered Raheem is an incredible deal for a young player, and having spoken to him a number of times, I know he’s very happy here—and you can see that in his game.
"What he has been granted at this club is the opportunity to play. We see that with lots of young players here that are getting the opportunity to play and getting rewarded for that. We are not a club that is going to give out way, way above what a player is worth at a certain point in his career. But we want to reward our best talents, and we’re confident that all this will be resolved soon."
Sterling’s current five-year deal runs through the summer of 2017, giving the club a bit of breathing room when it comes to the young star. Henderson’s, though, expires at the end of next season, meaning that if he doesn’t sign a new deal soon the club could face an awkward situation next summer. In both cases, the club are believed to be trying to structure heavily incentivised deals.
"It’s important that young players have something to strive for," added Rodgers. "If they get too much too young it can sometimes sabotage their development. In Raheem’s case he has been outstanding since we put him in the team, but we mustn’t forget he was a 17-year-old boy who was given the opportunity. In the time since he’s been fantastic, but he still has a ways to go."