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Sterling only on bench for Reds

Published 24/05/2015

Raheem Sterling was left out of the Liverpool starting line-up at Stoke
Raheem Sterling was left out of the Liverpool starting line-up at Stoke

Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling was left out of the starting line-up for the club's final match of the season at Stoke.

The 20-year-old's contract dispute has been splashed all over the back pages this week after his agent Aidy Ward reportedly claimed he would not sign a new deal even for £900,000 a week.

At his pre-match press conference manager Brendan Rodgers said if Sterling was fit he would be available for selection, despite all the negative publicity, but chose to leave him on the bench for the first time in 18 matches.

The last time the England was not in the starting line-up was on February 19 in the home leg of their Europa League tie against Besiktas.

Sterling's existing deal does not expire until the summer of 2017 and Rodgers said he expected the youngster to see out the remaining two years of his deal.

However, having rejected a £100,000-a-week offer in January negotiations were put on hold and were scheduled to resume on Friday, only for Liverpool to cancel the meeting after learning of Ward's most recent comments.

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