independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Rodgers urges Sterling to sign

Raheem Sterling has yet to sign a first professional deal at Liverpool

Brendan Rodgers believes Raheem Sterling would be "very foolish" not to commit himself to Liverpool.

The winger turns 18 a week on Saturday, with the club currently in negotiations over a first professional contract. The player has already intimated new terms can wait until his birthday, and Rodgers has stressed he is confident there will not be any hitches, but that has not stopped the speculation about the teenager's future.

"It's important for the club to sign our young talent - but it's even more important for Raheem," Rodgers told reporters. "If you are 17 and playing regularly, you would be very foolish not to commit yourself very quickly."

He added: "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.

"Raheem's (contract) has been ongoing really. The club and his representatives are in good dialogue and communication and hopefully we will get that resolved very soon, but there is no timescale."

Although Sterling has been a key performer in Rodgers' first season at Anfield, the Northern Irishman accepts there will come a point when he will need to be rested for his own benefit.

Rodgers has no concerns about the physical demands on the player but accepts he may require a mental break.

"There will be at some point and we'll need to give him a breather, there's no question," said the Reds boss. "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."

Press Association

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