At only 19 years of age, Raheem Sterling finds himself both England and Liverpool's best player, and with plenty of room to grow there's a chance that in a few years he could be talked about as one of the best players in all of football. And when a player looks likely to end up in that conversation, it's inevitable that they will also find themselves linked to at least one of the Spanish giants sooner or later.
"I think it shows that he's playing exceptionally," said Brendan Rodgers when asked about the rumours linking Sterling to Real Madrid that first surfaced in the summer and popped up again earlier this week. "I think that you could probably link him to every club in the world at the moment. He's just a fantastic young talent. Obviously there's speculation every day about players coming and going, but I sit easy with it."
It won't be hurting Rodgers' ability to sit easy with the rumours that they appear to be based purely on speculation from people with no links to either club. Raheem Sterling is very, very good. He could end up one of the best players in the world. If he becomes one of the best players in the world, there's a decent chance Madrid might come sniffing around as they did for Premier League stars like Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in the past.
Realistically, though, that wouldn't happen next summer—or for a few more in all likelihood. Madrid, after all, aren't a club that has the patience or space to develop players into the best in the world. They're a club that goes out and buys them at their peak or close to it. Whatever might happen down the road, Sterling's next few seasons seem settled, and so Rodgers is in no rush to get a new deal in place to ward off interest that, if it comes, won't be coming soon.
"He's a wonderful player who is developing really, really well with us," said the manager. "And I think he and his representatives—the people close to Raheem—know how comfortable he is here. Obviously I'm sure that at some point in the future, the contract we'll look to work out with Raheem will get sorted, but he's still got three years left. There's no rush from my perspective at the moment."