Raheem Sterling will be a Liverpool player for a long time - Ian Ayre
Liverpool expect Raheem Sterling to stay with them for "a long time", Reds chief executive Ian Ayre has stressed.
Forward Sterling is in an apparent contract wrangle with the Merseyside outfit, with the 20-year-old admitting he had rejected a £100,000-per-week deal in a recent interview that was not sanctioned by the club.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers said soon after that interview that Sterling would "not going anywhere in the summer".
And, quoted on Wednesday by several national newspapers, Ayre said: "Raheem's agent has asked that we park all discussions regards his future until the summer. We respect that.
"Raheem is a Liverpool player and has over two years left on his contract. We expect Raheem Sterling to be here for a long time."
As well as the contract situation, Sterling - who is being linked with the likes of Manchester City - is currently at the centre of further controversy.
Footage was released on Monday of him appearing to inhale the legal high nitrous oxide and then pass out, and images of the England international holding a shisha pipe alongside Reds team-mate Jordon Ibe subsequently emerged on Tuesday.
That was the second time in a matter of days that photographs of Sterling with a shisha pipe had appeared, with a Sunday newspaper also publishing pictures of him allegedly smoking from the instrument.
Rodgers made it clear immediately after Monday night's 2-0 win over Newcastle that he expects better from his players and the Northern Irishman added he would talk to Sterling about the reports concerning his off-field behaviour.