Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has prised Liverpool starlet Raheem Sterling as a “top player” but refused to let on to his reported interest in him, according to The Sun.
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The 20-year-old has caused controversy this week by stalling on a new deal to stay at Anfield despite being offered a new deal worth £100,000-per-week.
Arsenal are just one of the big name clubs being linked with a move for his signature this summer, and though manager Wenger had some warm words for the England international, he refused to let on to what degree of interest he holds in Sterling.
“Raheem Sterling is a top player, everybody in the country knows that now,” Wenger said.
“He is a very important player for Liverpool of course.
“I have a big respect for Liverpool and I do not want to go into any supposed move for any of their players.
“I don’t want to interfere in (reports over contract negotiations), especially 48 hours before the game.
“That’s down to Liverpool, it is not my problem.
“I do not want to speak about any move. We are not in a transfer period, we are in front of a big game.
“I am focused on the game and producing the performances we have done recently.”
Sterling also responded to Wenger’s comments by saying that links to Arsenal were flattering.
“It’s flattering but I try to knock everything out of my head.
“I’ll be trying my best at Arsenal, I won’t be hiding anything.”
Wenger has held an interest in Liverpool’s star players before, when he made a £40,000,001 bid for star striker Luis Suarez. However, he ended up joining Barcelona instead.