Sterling: I’m not a money-grabbing 20-year-old

The 20-year-old, who has turned down a six-figure salary package to stay at Anfield beyond the summer of 2017, insists he is motivated by football above all

Raheem Sterling has hit back at reports painting him as a “money-grabber” after rejecting the offer of a new contract from Liverpool.

Despite prolonged talks the 20-year-old has failed to agree a long-term extension to his current contract, which expires in the summer of 2017, with the player stating that he has rejected a six-figure salary package.

Last month Goal revealed Liverpool have drawn up a list of potential replacements for Sterling – one of whom is Arsenal’s Theo Walcott – as concerns about the youngster’s long-term future at Anfield grow.

But in an interview with BBC Sport, Sterling is adamant he remains motivated by enjoying himself on the pitch and developing as a player rather than financial rewards.

“I don’t want to be perceived as a money-grabbing 20-year-old,” he insisted. “I just want to be seen as the kid that loves to play football.”

Sterling has emerged as a key figure at Liverpool under Brendan Rodgers and an England regular over the past two years, and has scored 11 goals in 50 appearances for club and country this season.

Confirming he has rejected a £100,000 per week contract offer, Sterling added: “When I started out at QPR, I would never have dreamt of this day, to have such a huge offer in front of me.

“I’m really thankful. I just want to solely focus on my football right now. I want to win something at the end of the season and the FA Cup’s a great chance.”

Source: Goal