Jamaican teenage sensation Raheem Sterling is set to roll in the big bucks.
The 18-year-old Liverpool winger, who has been capped by England after turning down the opportunity to play for the county of his birth, is set to sign a five-year contract with the English Premier League club that will see him start at 30,000-a-week (JAM$4.5million per week) with staggered pay rises every season.
Negotiations have centred on the top-up bonuses for appearances, goals and Champions League qualification but both parties are confident that Sterling will shortly put pen to paper.
Manchester United have been among the clubs keen to take advantage of the teenager`s contract stand-off should the situation not be resolved.
However, recent negotiations between Liverpool and Sterling`s camp have been fruitful, which should result in the player, whose current deal expires in 18 months, committing to the club up until 2018.
Rodgers has made no attempt to hide his belief that Sterling`s career needs to be carefully managed to maintain his hunger and keep his feet on the ground.
“You see young players who are multi-millionaires,” said the Reds boss. “No matter what you say, it takes the edge off them.”
Nevertheless, the newly capped England international has been a fundamental figure in Rodgers` team this season, starting 16 of the club`s 17 league matches and playing 1,411 minutes.
Speaking in the wake of Liverpool`s 3-1 defeat to Aston Villa last weekend, the manager admitted that Sterling and newcomer Joe Allen both needed a rest to recapture top form.
“There is no doubt Raheem is one who does need that breather,” Rodgers observed. “I`ve thought about it over the past couple of weeks. In order to do that you need to have that depth to take him out and put somebody else in.”
Sterling was previously approached by Jamaica Football Federation president Horace Burrell to play for Jamaica but he turned down the offer. His mother Nadine had stated she wanted to see him play for Jamaica. Sterling has represented England at Under-16, Under-17, Under-19 and Under-21 level.
Sterling grew up in the Maverley area of Kingston, and was raised by his grandmother. At the age of five Sterling emigrated to England with his mother where he attended Copland High School in Wembley, North West London.
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