This will rumble on at least until the summer transfer window opens and will undoubtedly be the subject of an avalanche of Arsenal transfer rumours, despite the fact that the Liverpool manager has declared outright that they will not sell their talented England international Raheem Sterling to any club this summer.
Rodgers used his press conference to discuss the matter and suggest that the 20-year old had made a youngster´s mistake in giving a BBC interview this week to put his point across, as an ESPN report reveals.
He said, “There was no permission from the club. It was something that surprised us all, to be honest. But he’s a young player who’s still learning and developing, on and off the field, and sometimes you’ll make mistakes as a youngster.”
It seems to me that it was Rodgers and the club that brought up the fact the player had not agreed the deal they offered and that has caused the Liverpool fans to accuse him of being greedy. So Sterling did an interview to say that his ambition was trophy success not money. And as reported by Sky Sports, his manager specifically mentioned the Gunners and claimed that Sterling´s trophy ambition would be better served where he is.
Rodgers said, “Raheem has two and a half years left on his deal and he’s not going anywhere in the summer. He’s quite relaxed, as I am, and he just wants to focus on the rest of the season.
“Concentration, like I said a few weeks back, should be on his football and continuing his development. He’s made great strides over the last couple of years and his only concentration should be the remaining games.
“The last time we sat down we discussed that that was the intentions of the player, his representatives and the club. Obviously Raheem has come out and made his feelings clear on that and hopefully his focus will be on the football now.
“If his ambition is to win trophies, that’s perfectly aligned with what we are trying to do here. Arsenal is a fantastic club but this is Liverpool and it’s an honour to him to play here for these great supporters and he understands that.
“The player he is today is because of the environment we’ve created here. He’s not going anywhere in the summer and we’ll focus on trying to make him the best player we can.
This strikes me as the same sort of high handed and arrogant tone that we heard during the Luis Suarez saga, but it could well make Sterling even more convinced that Liverpool is not the best club for him. Let´s not forget, either, that Liverpool signed him after he had spent seven years in the QPR youth system and had already played for England, so they didn´t exactly make him and accusing him of not being loyal and chasing the big time is a bit much.
Wenger did not want to talk about Sterling in his own press conference but should Arsenal make a concerted effort to sign him?