Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers’ admirable attempts to manage 19-year-old forward sensation Raheem Sterling’s development may yet backfire, as Paris Saint-Germain become the latest mega-rich continental outfit credited with an interest in the England international.
The Reds chief has spoken recently about giving young players ‘too much, too early’, with Sterling reportedly on around £40,000 a week; no trifle for sure, but nothing to raise eyebrows among Europe’s elite.
PSG’s 20-year-old centre-half Marquinhos’ contract in the French capital gives the Brazilian the chance to earn almost three times Sterling’s current salary, according to a Goal.com article written last December.
His compatriot Lucas Moura is rumoured to be on similarly silly money at just 21, while Neymar signed a contract with Barcelona last summer that dwarfs those of his sometime Selecao teammates. He was also 21.
Sterling may well be tempted by such riches if Liverpool don’t change their position towards his contract negotiations, which is reported to be a pay rise of £20,000.
That seems a bit of a risk considering the Jamaica-born Londoner’s form over the past twelve months, especially considering Real Madrid, among the world’s top payers, are also thought to be keen on Sterling’s services.
Rodgers’ men’s recent poor run of form has coincided with a drop in productivity from Sterling, who notched twice over the first three fixtures of the Premier League campaign, but only has one in seven all-competition matches since.
However, with Sterling’s partner in numerous goalscoring flurries last term almost certain to return following the international break, this might be a good time to get stuck into the Reds’ 1/2 Champions League Group B qualification odds.
An expected poor points-haul from two upcoming matches against Real Madrid is likely already factored into the price, and Daniel Sturridge’s presence back in the Liverpool side should make a marked difference to their fortunes.
The last time the former Chelsea man returned from injury he scored 11 goals in his first ten games back, bagging in all but one of those fixtures.