Sterling talks put on hold

Sterling’s current deal at Anfield runs until 2017 with Rodgers stating in February that the England forward had been offered an “incredible” new contract, but warned he wouldn’t be receiving “too much, too young”.

And although manager Manuel Pellegrini played down speculation on Friday that Manchester City were??set for a ??50m move for the England forward, the latest news coming from Sterling’s camp will be frustrating for the Liverpool boss and do little to quash the rumours that Sterling is looking for a new challenge.

“It has been made clear by Raheem’s representative he wants to concentrate on his football and see what can be resolved in the summer,” Rodgers said, ahead of his team’s crucial Super Sunday clash with Manchester United.

“I am sure it will be resolved and the concentration for Raheem is now on his football and it is clear the terms of when those talks will begin again.

“It is all speculation. It is something we can’t worry ourselves on. The boy is happy here and I repeat if you have the interest of the kid and his football development at this stage of his career this is the best place to be.”

With Manchester City faltering in their quest to retain their Premier League title and being dumped out of the Champions League, reports have been gathering pace on how fortunes can be turned around at the Etihad.

Some newspapers reported on Friday that City were lining up a deal for Sterling, who Pellegrini has said could cost as much as ??100m.

But Pellegrini, speaking ahead of Saturday’s league clash at home to West Brom, said: “The other day I said a name and an amount of money, not that we want him and are that we are going to pay that amount of money.

“About the future, I don’t think it is the moment. It is more important to focus on the present. Players that can come and go, I don’t think it is the moment to talk about that.”

Discussing Financial Fair Play regulations and how it relates to acquiring talent from England, Pellegrini said: “Can you get Sterling? Maybe if you go to Liverpool with ??100m you can. If I want an English player in the position of [David] Silva who is there? Maybe [Wayne] Rooney, but who else?”

Pellegrini also said recently: “I think this team now needs a crack, another special player just to give us that sense that we are now at another level.

“We have [Sergio] Aguero. We have very good players. But the Champions League is very different to the Premier League.”