John Barnes has warned Raheem Sterling that he faces the prospect of making the same mistakes the likes of Jack Rodwell and Scott Sinclair have made if he ops to leave Liverpool this summer.
The 20-year-old attacker has emerged as one of English football’s top talents over the course of the past two years, slotting into Brendan Rodgers’ first XI while earning recognition on the international stage.
However, despite Sterling having another two seasons on his Anfield contract, his future has become the subject of much doubt of late, with the player himself stalling on penning an extension.
A £90,000-per-week offer is thought to be on the table, but the player himself is holding out for a massive salary of around £150,000-per-week.
The likes of Real Madrid and Manchester City have been aligned with moves for him, but Barnes believes that Sterling must stay where he is to avoid becoming a big money flop:
“Raheem Sterling should absolutely sign the contract and stay at Liverpool,” he told talkSPORT.
“I would advise any young player who has just been in the game for a year or so to stay and learn his trade. Show a level of consistently over a four or five year period before you make a big move. You will then be judged as a £50m player.
“We’ve seen it with Scott Sinclair and Jack Rodwell at Manchester City. Where are they now?
“Sterling is not ready for a move to Barcelona, Real Madrid or Manchester City. He needs another two or three years at Liverpool. Then, if he decides he wants to move on, fine. He has to be very careful though.
“Sometimes the bad advice is not only the most lucrative but also sounds like the best advice. He’s not been playing consistently well over a number of years though. Maybe his form has suffered because of all the speculation about his future.
“For any young player, similar to Harry Kane [and Sterling], I would advise you to show a level of consistently where you’re happy and people accept you.
“Then, if you want to put yourself under pressure by making a big money move, do that because it could all go wrong.”