Tweet causes Sterling confusion
Raheem Sterling has created confusion over his Liverpool future by first stating on Twitter that he would be signing a new contract – and then deleting the tweet.
Sterling, 17, is likely to make his England debut against Sweden in Stockholm on Wednesday night, reacted angrily to reports that he had demanded £50,000 a week to stay at Anfield.
However, a message intended to reassure Liverpool fans that he would sign a deal once he turns 18 on December 8 quickly disappeared.
Sterling wrote: "I've just woken up to this rubbish. I can assure you I've not asked for that stupid amount, where [sic] waiting till I'm 18 to sign."
The deleted tweet does tally with indications given by Liverpool officials earlier this season that Sterling will sign a new contract after his birthday, and it is not clear why he chose to remove it.
A newspaper report on Saturday morning suggested that his advisers wanted an improved contract to bring his earnings into line with those of Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing, who both earn around £50,000 a week yet are behind Sterling in the first-team pecking order.
Sterling's current £2,000-a-week contract has 18 months to run, and Liverpool are keen to offer a new deal that reflects the progress he has made this year.
The winger, who arrived from QPR's youth set-up aged 15, made his Liverpool debut against Wigan in March, and has become a regular in the side under manager Brendan Rodgers this season.
He has also progressed through the England Under-19 and Under-21 set-ups to the senior squad, for whom he won his first call-up as an unused substitute against Ukraine in a World Cup qualifier in September. It is understood that Liverpool are ready to offer him around £20,000 a week.
Rodgers has indicated that he is relaxed about Sterling's future. He said: "There will be something but there's no need to rush it.
"He has become a very talented young man in the space of four months, so he and his representatives and family know our thoughts on him and we just want to make sure his concentration is on his football."