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Nov 30, 2012

Rodgers warns Sterling over future

Brendan Rodgers has warned Raheem Sterling that he would be "foolish" not to agree a new contract at Liverpool.

Blog: Reds must master chess-boxing

Rodgers has also warned the teenage winger that he cannot expect to become one of the club's biggest earners until he has achieved much more in the game.

Sterling, 17, is currently earning around £2,000 a week on a youth-team contract that has 18 months to run. He will be able to sign a longer-term professional deal when he turns 18 on December 8, and his advisers have been in lengthy negotiations with club officials to sort out terms.

Sterling took to Twitter on November 10 to dismiss reports that he had demanded a salary of £50,000 a week to match those of out-of-favour first-team colleagues Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing, only to swiftly delete the tweet.

Rodgers is optimistic that Sterling will sign a new deal, but is also keen to ensure that the winger, who made his England debut in a friendly against Sweden on November 14, does not let his rpaid rise to prominence go to his head.

The Liverpool manager told the Daily Telegraph: "I think it is important for the club that we sign our young talents. But I think it is even more important for Raheem.

"This is a club that is going to give young players an opportunity. He has played more games than he could have dreamed of this season, both in the Premier League and the Europa League. Liverpool Football Club has given him the chance to become a full international player.

"So I would think if I am Raheem Sterling and his agents I would look to tie it up very quickly. This contract won't be the biggest contract of his life. It is when he actually achieves something. What he has shown just now is fantastic potential. His next contract and the one after that will be the big ones.

"But this is Liverpool Football Club. If you are 17 years of age and you are playing regularly, you would be very foolish not to commit yourself very quickly. I am confident it is something that will be sorted out very soon."

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