LIVERPOOL boss Brendan Rodgers insists agreeing a new contract with talented winger Raheem Sterling will be ‘pretty straightforward’.
The 17-year-old has been a revelation for the Reds since Rodgers handed him his full debut back in August and he was rewarded with a first England cap against Sweden on Wednesday night.
Sterling’s current deal has 18 months to run but Liverpool are keen to reward him with an improved long-term contract when he turns 18 next month.
The youngster recently dismissed reports that talks had stalled over his £50,000 per week wage demands.
“I can assure you I’ve not asked for that stupid amount,” he said. “We’re waiting until I’m 18 to sign.”
Rodgers is convinced an agreement will be reached before the end of 2012.
“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.”
Sterling has started Liverpool’s last 10 league matches and has become an increasingly important figure in Rodgers’ set-up. However, the manager admits the teenager’s ascent has taken him aback.
“I have been surprised to be honest. You just never know with young players,” he said.
“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.
“He created the first goal with his pass and I thought he did very well. He’s a real talent and one that has to be nurtured.
“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.”