Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has warned teenage winger Raheem Sterling that he would be "very foolish" not to sign a long-term contract with the Premier League club.
London: Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has warned teenage winger Raheem Sterling that he would be "very foolish" not to sign a long-term contract with the Premier League club.
Story first published on: Friday, 30 November 2012 16:47
Sterling, 17, has broken into the Liverpool first team this season and made his England debut in the recent friendly with Sweden.
The former Queens Park Rangers player turns 18 next week and Liverpool are urging him to sign his first professional contract.
With the talks still to reach a conclusion, Rodgers has urged Sterling to reward Liverpool's faith in him by committing to a new deal.
"It's important for the club to sign our young talent but it's even more important for Raheem," Rodgers said.
"If you are 17 and playing regularly, you would be very foolish not to commit yourself very quickly.
"This is a club that is going to give young players an opportunity and he has played more games than he could have dreamed of this season, both in the Premier League and the Europa League.
"Liverpool have given him the chance to become a full international player. If I was Raheem Sterling and his agents, I would look to tie it up very quickly."
Sterling has started 13 of Liverpool's 14 league games to date this season, scoring once, and Rodgers concedes that he may require a break before long.
"There will be at some point and we'll need to give him a breather, there's no question," said the Liverpool manager.
"He's a very young man and is still learning the game. He still has technical elements he needs to improve upon and tactical elements.
"But one of the biggest things is psychological at this level -- real mental fatigue can set in.
"He's been terrific so far. He's got to this stage at the end of November and been absolutely brilliant but at some point he will need that breather."