Raheem Sterling does not have the quality to be a first-team regular for a top four side and should stay at Liverpool for now, according to former Manchester United and Everton star Phil Neville.
The 20-year-old Anfield ace’s future has been the subject of much doubt over the course of the last few months, with a recent BBC interview having done little to defuse the situation.
Sterling had his say on the saga, claiming that he’s already rejected a £100,000-per-week contact offer from the Reds, even though money is not the biggest factor in his decision.
He then opened the door for a move to Arsenal, while the likes of Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea are also keen on him.
However, Neville doesn’t think he’s good enough for sides of that calibre just yet:
“I don’t think he would get into Chelsea’s team with Diego Costa there,” he told BBC Sport.
“Would he make Manchester City’s team with Sergio Aguero there? Manchester United with Wayne Rooney there?”
The Match of the Day pundit went on to tell Sterling that he should stay for at least a couple more years for the good of his career:
“I think Liverpool have to play hardball with Sterling. As for Sterling, it is fine having agents, but at some point you have to take ownership of your own career and say: ‘I want to sign a contract. I am at the right club at the right time.’
“At the moment, he is at the best club who are helping him to develop and giving him a platform to play. They have stood by him and given him a good contract. He has 27 months left on that contract.
“In two years, if he wants to play with Real Madrid and his career goes in the right direction, he will still be able to do that. But at the moment he should get on with playing football.”