Football: Liverpool cancel showdown talks over Sterling's future

Raheem Sterling's future at Liverpool was plunged into fresh doubt on Thursday after the Premier League club reportedly cancelled a meeting to discuss a new contract for the unsettled forward. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Raheem Sterling's future at Liverpool was plunged into fresh doubt on Thursday after the Premier League club reportedly cancelled a meeting to discuss a new contract for the unsettled forward. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Raheem Sterling's future at Liverpool was plunged into fresh doubt on Thursday after the Premier League club reportedly cancelled a meeting to discuss a new contract for the unsettled forward.

Sterling's agent Aidy Ward had requested a meeting with Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre and Reds manager Brendan Rodgers this week to discuss the 20-year-old's future following reports he was keen to leave Anfield at the end of the season.

After turning down a £100,000-a-week (S$200,000-a-week) contract offer in January, Sterling is said to have decided to seek a transfer to a club playing in the Champions League next term, sparking a reported approach from Manchester United this week, while Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Real Madrid are also watching the situation with interest.

Liverpool had hoped to use their talks with Sterling to persuade the England international, whose current £35,000-a-week contract runs until 2017, to commit his long-term future to the club.

But quotes from Sterling's agent in an interview with the London Evening Standard on Thursday have, according to the BBC and the Daily Mail, convinced Liverpool there is no point in meeting with the player, even though his representative has subsequently disputed the words attributed to him.

"I don't care about the PR of the club and the club situation," the Standard quoted Ward as saying.

"He is definitely not signing. He's not signing for £700,000, £800,000, £900,000 a week.

"My job is to make sure I do the best with them (my clients). If people say I am bad at my job, or they are badly advised it does not matter."