Former Manchester United striker Diego Forlan has encouraged Liverpool’s contract rebel Raheem Sterling to fight for the best financial contract he can with the England man yet to sign an extension, the Uruguayan wrote in his column (via The National).
Sterling confirmed a fortnight ago that he had indeed rejected a £100,000 per-week contract put on the table to him (via Daily Mail) with Liverpool set for a battle to keep hold of their prized asset.
Forlad, quite interestingly, moved to remind Liverpool fans that they do not “own” Sterling and that while at the club, he is well within his rights to negotiate the best deal for himself.
“I understand why the huge sums of money being offered annoy people, but players have pushed for the best deals since money came into football,” Forlan confessed.
“The passionate fans, pumped full of adrenalin, think they own their club and, by extension, the players because they play for their club. They don’t. It is the club who “own” the player, and only while he is under contract. Players should get the best deals for themselves whenever they can. Football is a relatively short career.”
His views will certainly be debated in months to come and as football becomes a multi-billion dollar industry, players continue to make financial decisions in a career which terminates during their 30s.
However, in the case of Sterling, at the tender age of 20, many might feel that thinking about the end of his career at this point in time might be slightly premature.