Liverpool have decided to avoid further confrontation with Raheem Sterling and have confirmed that they won’t punish the 20-year-old forward over his latest back-page headlines.
It’s been a ‘tense’ two weeks for player relations at Anfield, as The Independent describes it, with a video of him inhaling nitrous oxide – known as “hippy crack” – following his controversial interview with the BBC in which he discussed his ongoing contract negotiations.
However, while the club feel that his latest off the field incident does not reflect well on him, they have been quick to point out that it is not illegal and therefore does not fall under any sanction for damaging the reputation of the club.
Controversial images of the England international have now emerged twice within the space of a matter of days. The hippy crack indecent was preceded by a Snapchat picture of Sterling smoking a shisha pipe, which was also picked up by the national press.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers now intends to meet with the player on Thursday to discuss these latest events and remind him of his responsibilities as a professional footballer.
The Reds are clearly doing their utmost not to force additional pressure on the player, or are at least aware that any financial sanctions are unlikely to convince him to put pen to paper on the new contract that they so dearly want him to sign.
Despite the media furore surrounding him, Sterling did at least impress on the pitch against Newcastle United on Monday evening, scoring the opening goal in a 2-0 win that has propelled his side back into Champions League contention.