Liverpool legend Phil Thompson has revealed the Reds star Raheem Sterling will leave Anfield at the end of the season.
The 20-year-old has over two years left on his contract and has already turned down an offer of £100,000-a-week. Earlier this year, Brendan Rodgers admitted that the England international has put his future on hold until the end of the season.
Sterling has been linked with a big money move to England and Europe’s top clubs. Premier League champions Chelsea and their league rivals Manchester United, along with Manchester City and Arsenal are all monitoring the winger’s signature.
The former Anfield defender claims it will be difficult for him to continue with the Merseyside club and is likely to leave Liverpool at the end of the season.
“I think it will be very difficult for him to stay at Liverpool now. He’s shown all the signs that he’s ready and prepared to leave the club,” Thompson explained.
“But if he was to stay I would like to think his role will be on the flanks – I don’t think Liverpool can even contemplate him being their main striker next season, because he’s not a natural goalscorer.”
“Liverpool need somebody who’s going to get you at least 15 league goals and maybe 25 overall – Raheem Sterling is not going to get you that.”
“He’s done well for the team – he’s helped them out up front this season, but I think everyone can see that he’s not quite strong enough for it.”
“So, no matter where he is next season, I think his best role is out wide rather than through the middle,” the Anfield legend said.
Despite rumoured interest from Louis van Gaal’s side, it is highly unlikely that Liverpool will allow their star player to join their arch-rivals. Arsenal and City could set for a summer battle for his signature, if he decides to leave.
Arsenal could use Theo Walcott – whose contract situation is also up in the air at the Emirates – in signing the Reds star. The ideal situation for Sterling, if he decides to leave Anifled is to continue in the Premier League.