Raheem Sterling won't sign Liverpool deal
The 20-year-old has developed a reputation as one of England’s brightest young prospects.
LONDON - Raheem Sterling's agent has fuelled the fire surrounding the player's contract standoff with Liverpool by saying the England winger would not sign a new deal at Anfield, even for "£900,000" a week.
The 20-year-old has developed a reputation as one of England's brightest young prospects, but has been at the centre of media frenzy in recent months surrounding his contract negotiations.
The player and his agent, Aidy Ward, are set for a showdown with Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and chief executive Ian Ayre on Friday when Sterling is expected to tell the club he wants to leave.
"He is definitely not signing," Ward told the Evening Standard.
"He's not signing for £700, 800, 900 thousand a week. He is not signing."
Sterling, who was given his Premier League break by Liverpool and shone as they launched an unexpected title challenge last season, has come in for criticism from many former Anfield greats.
The player's relationship with the club and fans has also deteriorated since he gave an unauthorised interview to the BBC when he denied being a "money-grabber" and claimed he was motivated purely by ambition.
The interview was widely interpreted as a PR disaster and prompted many pundits to round on Ward for mishandling a delicate situation and giving poor advice to his client.
Ward has hit back, however, aiming a personal insult at former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher, before dismissing the media backlash as little more than background noise.
"My job is to make sure I do the best with them (my clients). If people say I am bad at my job, or they are badly advised it does not matter," he said.
"Any of the criticism from current pundits or ex-Liverpool players, none of them things matter to me. It is not relevant."
Liverpool boss Rodgers has publicly denied the club would countenance selling Sterling but, with only two years remaining on his contract, a bid of around £50 million would test their resolve.
Media reports have suggested Liverpool's rivals Manchester United have already approached them and have been rebuffed, while Manchester City, Chelsea and Bayern Munich have also been linked with a move.
Ward, who is also the agent of Saido Berahino, another player who has been publicly angling for a move, claimed there would not be a lack of suitors for Sterling.
"I am not worried," he added. "Worried is making a decision not knowing what is going to happen. Every Premier League club will make a bid for him."