Raheem Sterling has rejected suggestions he was “money-grabbing” after his talks over a new Liverpool contract hit an impasse. The 20-year-old’s future has become the subject of intense speculation in the British media as the Reds attempt to extend his current deal beyond the end of next season.
There are reports that Sterling has turned down a Liverpool offer of around £180,000 per week, but the England star says that the idea that he is holding Liverpool to ransom are wrong.
“I don’t want to be perceived as a money-grabbing 20-year-old,” said Sterling, who is reported to earn around £35,000 per week, in a video interview published on the BBC Sport website. “I just want to be seen as the kid that loves to play football and wants to do the best for the team.
“I would never want the fans to think bad of me, to think I just want as much money for myself. I want them to understand it’s been a bit much for me this season, with everyone talking about it every minute.”
Sterling, who has scored ten times for Liverpool this season, admitted that had he been offered the same terms a year ago, he would probably have agreed to them.
“If, at that point in time, I was offered a contract, I most definitely would have signed straight away, probably for far less money than being said now,” he said. “I just think the timing was a bit off.”
Sterling, who can play on the wing, in behind the forward or up front, has been linked with some of Europe’s biggest clubs in recent weeks. However, he insisted he would not be discussing his future further until the end of the campaign.
“At the end of the season, I just want to sit down with the club and my representatives,” he said. “I will definitely give guarantees when the season has finished.”