sport

Rodgers expects Sterling stay

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has played down talk of a contract dispute with Raheem Sterling over a new deal for the youngster.

Sterling, who made his England debut against Sweden on Wednesday, has established himself as a key player in the Liverpool side after bursting onto the first-team scene this term.

Liverpool are thought to be keen to tie down the teenager to a new deal, but reports have suggested contract talks had stalled due to personal demands.

However, Rodgers insists contract talks with Sterling will be resolved "without issue" with the player having just 18 months to run on his current deal.

"I think it will be pretty straightforward," said Rodgers. "That will be resolved. There won't be an issue there.

"I think Raheem himself, his representatives and his family know he is at the best club he could ever be at in terms of his development short and long-term." Rodgers admits Sterling's rise to prominence into the Liverpool first-team and now the England set-up has taken him aback.

"I have been surprised to be honest. You just never know with young players," added Rodgers.

"I think the biggest thing you can do with kids is give them a chance - so long as they are showing on a daily basis they are worthy of that opportunity.

"That has been the case with Raheem since the day I walked in.

"He has improved and that is a great credit to him because he wants to improve and become a better player.

"Tactically he is doing better all the time and I think everyone connected with Liverpool could be proud of his (England) performance.

"To get exposed to that level of experience, playing alongside guys like (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic and seeing them at close-hand and how they operate can only make you a better player.

"He has earned that right to be there, he has been one of the top young players in the country this season; he is a real threat, he is dynamic but thankfully he has a lot to improve on.

"That will hopefully bode well for Liverpool first and foremost and internationally after that."