With the rapid rise of Raheem Sterling from youth prospect to cracking the first team to star in the making, keeping him secured and comfortable on a long-term contract has been vitally important. With footballing giants always trying to hoover up premier young talents like Sterling, the best way to keep them at bay is to keep your players under contract for as many years as possible, with sufficient wages to not leave them feeling like they deserve more.
That's been how Liverpool have been handling Sterling so far, with a contract given to him two years ago with very aggressive wages for such a young player, but with the promise he'd shown it was well worth the risk. Sterling rewarded that faith by taking his game to a new level, and now he's far outperforming even that deal. With that in mind, Liverpool have made it one of their priorities to renew Sterling's contract once again, with wages competitive to where he could get elsewhere.
At one point, it seemed like contract talks were destined to break down, with the two parties reported to be a long ways apart from one another on how much Sterling was worth in wages. Liverpool kept at it, though, and there was encouraging news recently that negotiations were proceeding amicably. Now, the English media is abuzz with reports that, after fresh negotiations between Sterling's agent and Liverpool exec Ian Ayre in London, a new contract for the 20 year old winger is very close to completion.
While details are obviously still unknown, the deal is believed to be for five years, and on "much more lucrative" wages than Sterling earns now. Echo reporter James Pearce believes that the deal could be done and announced by late next week.
The signing is an excellent step for Liverpool, at a time when many fans have been concerned about the club taking a step back after a perceived series of transfer market failures and the impending departure of Steven Gerrard. Securing one of the most promising young stars to come through Anfield since Stevie G will help give the club a good base to build from as they move in to the future and the next era of the club.
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