25 Sept 2014

Top Target: CL giants to make stunning bid to sign 'wonderful' £20m LFC star. Worried?

Last month, Real Madrid attacker Gareth Bale initiated insisted that the 'sky is the limit' for Liverpool star Raheem Sterling, and right on cue, rumours linking Sterling with a move to the Bernabeu are intensifying, with reports today suggesting that Los Blancos are planning a strong move to sign LFC's coveted forward.

According to multiple reports today:

* Real Madrid are ready to make a move to sign Sterling.

* Carlo Ancelotti has made Sterling his number one transfer target.

Sterling is reportedly on £30k, which - in the disturbed, obscenely out of touch world of football - is deemed to be a piffling figure.

Real Madrid's transfer policy is unashamedly transparent, and Gareth Bale's comments are just one part of the club's oft-employed campaign to entice prospective players.

The question is, should Liverpool offer Sterling a huge pay-rise to ward off interest from Madrid, and other interested clubs?

For me, the answer is a resounding NO.

Sterling is 19 (!), and he has achieved next to *nothing* in the game. Yes, he's progressing well, but that is his job; He's supposed to incrementally improve, and he has every advantage at his beck and call to facilitate that. LFC owes Sterling nothing at this stage, but he owes the club everything:

* He already earns big bucks, and only signed an improved contract 18 months ago.
* Liverpool plucked him from obscurity gave him the opportunity to play top-level football.
* Brendan Rodgers has consistently shown a great level of faith in Sterling.
* He is now a regular in the team, with the excitement of CL football on the horizon.
* Sterling made the England team as a result of his coaching and development at Anfield.

Liverpool deserve - and should demand - loyalty from Sterling, and the club should take the view that he should be happy with his current £30k a week contract. Why wouldn't he be? If he demands more money than that at the age of 19 then it is greed, pure and simple.

As I've argued repeatedly over the years, giving young players huge salaries invariably dulls motivation/competitive edge. Where is the need for young (and comparatively immature) players to push themselves to the limit when they're taking home £100K+ a week?

Luckily, Rodgers appears to think the same. When asked recently about a new contract for Sterling, he told reporters:

"We need to be careful. When you reward young players too quickly, that will be their downfall. It's a big problem with British players. Why? Because the reward is no longer there, they lose their hunger"

I sincerely hope Rodgers and LFC have the courage of their convictions when it comes to this particular issue. If Real Madrid do come calling, and Sterling seriously considers a move at such a young age, then it will show that he has zero loyalty to Liverpool. In such circumstances, the club should just cash-in and get rid of him (or any player with a similar mindset).

Yes, I'm aware that the obsession with money is part-and-parcel of modern football; the idea of footballers playing for LFC because they love the club is, admittedly, merely a romantic notion these days, but that doesn't mean Liverpool should just give up and perpetuate the cycle of greed.

Acquiescing to salary demands, and constantly paying through the nose to keep players at the club (which is, in essence, buying loyalty) is not a sustainable financial model, and repeatedly doing this just enables other players to jump on the bandwagon.

The Reds have to take a stand, and the Sterling situation is an ideal place to start. If he genuinely wants to play for Liverpool, then Sterling will be happy to wait for an improvement to his contract. He'll knuckle down, focus on football, and be happy with his lot, which is pretty damn amazing as it it.

If Sterling starts making waves/dropping hints about moving, or engages is any of the mryiad of typical tactics employed by greedy players, then Liverpool should just sell him to Madrid for £60m+

Sterling is not irreplaceable. He has the world at his feet at Liverpool, and if it's really about the football with him, then that should be enough.



  1. Real stay the FCUK away from my club...

  2. If Markovic is worth 20 million than nothing less than 60 million would suffice stuff Real they can go rip someone else off.
    With Reals current talent it would be a bad career move for him to go at the end of this season also.

  3. I agree totally with the fact that it is a bad career move if he leaves and simply adds to the "number" of stars without playing first XI football but earning big bucks only to fizzle out in 12 months. Besides who is he going to bench over there?

  4. Nevergonnacrackthecode7:25 am, September 25, 2014

    he is not earning big bucks in relative to his talent
    he is one of the lowest earning in the club

    he is as good as rooney 300k
    hazard 250k
    shaw 130k
    walcott 100k
    nasri 250k

    age does not matter neymar was earning 14 m yearly at the age of 18

    man utd,chelsea and man city have proven paying big wages is key to success even arsenal ahve abandoned their wage structure

  5. Nevergonnacrackthecode7:27 am, September 25, 2014

    i think one of the main reason why we have not been successful is because as a club we are ignorant
    we think players should just come here play for free because we won 5 european cups , and if a player wants to leave we start saying no ones bigger then the club
    even man utd dont do that

  6. Nevergonnacrackthecode7:28 am, September 25, 2014

    its simple your best player should be the highest paid

    gerrard is currently earning 140k sterling is a million times more important right now so sterling should earn more

  7. Nevergonnacrackthecode7:28 am, September 25, 2014

    he could leave at 24
    he will have plenty of chances to leave

  8. Nevergonnacrackthecode7:29 am, September 25, 2014

    if by next summer

    we still ahve sterling

    and sign morgan schniderlin and clyne i will be a happy man

  9. i agree that he should not be given a huge salary at this stage. but i dont think we'll get 60 million for him if he wants to leave and is earning 30k per month at liverpool. real are masters at seducing players and agents to play to their tune and if sterling wants to go real bad then he may agitate for a move and we'll be in a position where we'll be glad to get rid of him even for a paltry sum. again this is only if sterling is blinded by madrid and does not want to play football so i dont think it will happen at least next summer. but we have seen such things happen before which is why i worry. just thinking about the other side of this; if players are good enough they are old enough to play for the first team. so if they are good enough shouldn't they earn as much as first teamers ? especially if you are the best player in that first team ?

  10. Real are like the spoilt rich kids of footy. The moment you have something good, they try and bully it from you.

  11. Well they are not talking about when he is 24 are they .they are scouting him now.

  12. Who is plkaying for free 30k per week is not free and is a lot of money for anyone that age a lot of people work damn hard and get way less a year than he does a week.

  13. The only reason I can see for giving him an improved contact is to make sure there is a rock solid buy out clause to make sure that Real or anyone else has to pay through the nose to buy him (if he wanted to leave). Personally, I think every contact these days should have a ridiculous buy out clause as standard, like Barca tend to do. Otherwise the club risk losing players on the cheap after a lot of effort and investment.

  14. You've just said that MU 's key to errrr their * success * is paying big wages and then that the best player should be the highest paid .......... I don't think many would agree that Rooney is their best player on 300K a week ! Fact is he / they have gone downhill since agreeing his megabucks ....

  15. I hate Real Madrid. They don't need to sign all these players, they just want them because they are 'new and shiny' it's like getting a new mobile phone.

  16. You know, usually I would respond to an article like this by saying 150 million pounds! But in this case I have two worries. One, Real might actually pay it seeing as fair play rules don't apply to them. Two, I cringe at the thought of how Rodgers would p!ss all that money away like he did the Suarez cash.

  17. I fully expect Ronaldo to leave Madrid after this season. With Bale and now Ja-mes, he is no longer the only superstar around and his ego can't handle that.

  18. It seems he has become our talisman at the ripe old age of nineteen ...
    The way he is being played for club and country he will be burnt out in another two years anyway !

  19. Balo


    Moereno Manquillo

    Sakho Lovren


  20. a decent pay rise wouldn't go amiss. I recognise and agree with your feelings, but we also need to compensate the guy correctly esp. when he has become the focal point of the team. On parity at least with the players he competes with and keeps out of the team. He should be the best paid imo out of lallana, Coutinho, and Lazar.

  21. For Raheem the skys the limit BUR for Ricky Lambert I fear he has not taken his chance and will be history in January - very poor performer who has no self belief whatsoever.

  22. Raheem will leave like Suarez but we need to get good price which might mean letting him go sooner

  23. Well, he's entitled to earn market value, he'd be doing himself a disservice if he didn't. Greed is one thing but if your team mates are getting a certain amount and you're getting less then it's not pure greed to expect an improved contract offer at some stage. Liverpool have a wage structure and Sterling should be placed in that structure accordingly. I'm sure the club won't be falling over themselves to offer him an upgrade so I think they're doing the right thing. Rodgers is certainly saying the right things and resisting the urge. It's a question of balance and the club would be stupid to simply refuse to consider a renewed contract, probably at least once a year is fair for a player like in his situation. In turn he has to continue to prove himself and improve as a player and if he does that I think he will deserve to creep up the wage bracket.

    I suspect in the long term we might have an issue keeping him around but that's just because he'll be a talented young man with the world at his feet. He doesn't really have to stay in Liverpool his whole career and so long as we get a decent fee for him we shouldn't be too upset about it. One-club players are rare these days.

  24. I'm sure Bale's comments about Sterling were totally spontaneous and from the heart, and not pre-planned and instigated by the Real hierarchy in any way. I'm also positive that we won't be hearing Zinedine Zidane's views on Sterling in the very near future.

    On a related topic, I understand that the official Utd supporters group, desperate to a man, are planning to fly a banner (what is it with them and banners?) over the Bernabeu imploring Ronaldo to 'come home'. Though I'm not sure how Ronaldo returning to Sporting will will help them at all.

  25. only time will tell if you are right about real's interest in sterling. i for one am sure that they will come knocking in at least another two years.

  26. Spirit of the Shadows11:29 am, September 25, 2014

    Shaw gets 130k my word...why? he has just had one good season. United are mental. no wonder English footballers tail off so early, they are earning obsene wages before they realise even a little bit of their potential.If sterling moves now he will be micheal owen v2.0

  27. Why in the world would they even want Sterling? He is not a household name and not a requirement for them. Real usually target players who plastic fans will happily be able to spend on.

  28. the hype surrounding sterling is getting stronger and stronger, he is going to be a household name pretty soon

  29. That is British hype though and that is not much of a big thing. Once his name starts appearing on TV channels and ads, I will start to get worried.

  30. That is British hype though and does not mean much. I will start to worry once he appears in ads and TV shows.

  31. Spirit of the Shadows12:03 pm, September 25, 2014

    I think suso should be given a chance in the derby, he will be high on confidence and can do some thing different

  32. I would start him if DS or Hendo are not going to play.

  33. Spirit of the Shadows12:12 pm, September 25, 2014

    yeah the lad deserves a chance for saving the team from misery. I think DS would be a sub I remember him returning from an injury i our last derby in the goodison

  34. Mignolet

  35. i thought sturridge would be fit in time for the derby. is he still out ?

  36. Spirit of the Shadows12:35 pm, September 25, 2014

    we'll hear about the fitness of studge and allen today I guess..

  37. It is partly a business arrangement between Liverpool and sterling. Not sure if either party owes the other anything. The club provides the environment and direction for success but this counts for little if the player does not have the natural ability, application and mindset.

    His age is irrelevant to his income which should be based on the going market rate for his performances and potential. Fortunately or unfortunately depending on your view point Liverpool cannot operate in isolation to the real world as was recognised by the Suraez's reported wages in his rapidly improved final contract.

    And yes this model of exponentially increasing wages is sustainable as long as the income generated continues to rise in a similar fashion. Otherwise who else should get the money generated by the players skill?

    It is easy to say that massive wages dampens motivation but where is the evidence for that? The market driven world in which we live is based entirely on the opposite view.

  38. This is a good 5 years away from having any truth to it whatsoever. For a start it's only being reported by the gutter press with absolutely no link to either club so in short another nonsense transfer rumour.
    With regards to his wages, I know what you're saying about young players but he's currently our best player yet one of our lowest earners. His wages should reflect his value to the club. If we don't offer him a salary that is competitive with what he could earn elsewhere then inevitably he'll start to resent the club and start angling for a move.
    It may be immoral to pay a teenager 100+k a week but that is the world of football

  39. He's not going to be a teenager anymore in December anyway...

  40. You think they are not i find that unlikely.

  41. A very well reasoned argument. I don't think we want to
    venture into the realms of 'ageism'. Sterling
    is now one of our best performers; how else is he to be rewarded other than
    with an improved contract that reflects his importance to the team? While pursuing
    a moral crusade against high wages in professional football is all very
    commendable, it sadly doesn't at all chime with the realities facing a club
    striving for success on the pitch.

  42. I hope he doesn't leave like Suarez. We don't need another biting scandal.

  43. Real very rarely buy anything other than the finished article (especially up top) and Sterling is far, far from the finished article. Put a cigar on and start worrying in 6-7 years.

  44. Although not technically, anyone under the age of 25 is still a teenager. If it walks like a duck, and so forth...

  45. Liverpool FC is a corporation. In a few years LFC might decide they dont want him against his will i.e Borini, Lucas, Pacheco.... well it cuts both ways. I kinda hope Raheem uses this speculation (that his agent started) to get a bundle of cash. A footballers career is uncertain. You are never too far from a career threatening injury, especially as a forward. MIlk em loool.

  46. We always call for the youngsters to get as much game time as their elders if they're good enough and that age should be overlooked when it comes to the pitch. Why would it be different when they need to earn the same sort of money ? Especially in this particular case where Sterling is outperforming each of his older team mates.

  47. ...im not sure loyalty can be demanded, thats the equivalent of having a totalitarian democracy....... oh on the other hand :)

  48. Considering that Sterling is performing better than most of the other players who are on higher wages, he deserves the bumper contract. Irrespective of age.

  49. It's highly unlikely that Real are thinking about making a bid for Sterling. Real sign finished article players that can hit the ground running with Ronaldo etc not someone that still needs sheltered and developed some way before he can think about reaching his full massive potential.
    Real Madrid may well sign Sterling but like I said in my previous post, it'll be in 4 or 5 years time

  50. Nevergonnacrackthecode6:52 pm, September 25, 2014

    manquillo ........................skrtel................lovren................moreno

    bench: jones, sakho,enrique,suso/lucas,coutinho,markovic,lambert

    maybe rossiter could be a surprise inclusion
    let me know if you agree

  51. sterling has been liverpools best player for several months and should be paid accordingly ...its hard to use the what has he achieved argument because for the most part you can only achieve what the club and players around you achieve...i had my doubts about him but now hes the first name on the sheet for Liverpool and England ....hes got it all hes skilful but like all the great players hes tough also and his stature be littles his stregnth

  52. dont bank on it i expect a bid in the summer

  53. i agree id have sterling before all the players on that list

  54. when borini is earning more than sterling you have to have a re think

  55. if theres one player worth more than 100g at Liverpool its sterling

  56. its strange you think sterling is worth only 80 grand and Gerrard who gets paid 140 grand should be moved and accommodated because hes not good enough in his position ...why not just pay sterling the 140 and dump Gerrard

  57. hes worth a big wage and if we cant pay we need to think about selling him for the most amount ...its pure commerce nothing more nothing less ...Im afraid the blue print of Arsenal is one we should follow

  58. He deserves a pay raise, maybe even tie some incentives in there for goals and assists, bumping him up even further if he hits the milestones. How else can the club retain him, or command a high fee if he leaves.
    It's not greed if he can get more elsewhere, it's life. Plus it would be greedy of the club to making a big chunk of money, while paying their best performer a fraction of what many of his teammates make.
    Either way it's in both the club's and Raheem's mutual interest that he get a pay raise.
    The hype is growing - but it's a bit beyond hype at this point, the boy can play.

  59. I had my doubts too and still have my doubts about him out wide. I think he's a striker. He's lightning running on to through balls but not as quick or effective running at players out wide. He could save us plenty if we play him with Sturridge or Ballotelli in the future but for now leave him in that deep central role and let him own it.

  60. I dont think Rossiter will make it. I'm Hoping Sterling plays up top with Lallana in at no.10. Coutinho would take that last midfield slot. I think Borini is finished now tbh. Rodgers is over him as his substitution after an hour clearly demonstrated.

  61. Na their next big signing will be a centre forward

  62. This is the first time I've ever agreed with you

  63. They are under scrutiny with FFP like everyone else they may adopt new recruiting strategies as they are no longer state funded.