J$6m a week! Ja-born Sterling set to pen big-money deal
André Lowe, Senior Staff Reporter
Jamaica-born Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling has reportedly committed his future to the Barclay's Premier League club, after signing a deal that will keep him at Merseyside until 2017 and will see him earn the equivalent of J$6 million (£40,000) on a weekly basis.
This makes Sterling the highest paid Jamaica-born football player in the world at this point.
The 18-year-old Maverley-born Sterling, who had Liverpool minders nervous after delaying his commitment to the club, saw several Premier League rivals growing in interest, after an impressive start to the season.
Sterling had 18 months remaining on his youth contract that saw him earning £2,000 (J$300,000) and had refused an initial £20,000 (J$3 million) offer from his employers, as Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal looked on in interest.
While the details of the package remain a private matter, it is understood that the value of the contract will increase as the player gets older.
The mercurial winger's stock has certainly increased over the past year, and has led to him being handed his first call-up to England's senior team, in the midst of an attempt by Jamaica Football Federation President Captain Horace Burrell to secure his services for the Reggae Boyz ahead of the CONCACAF final-round qualifiers for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Sterling, who left Jamaica at the age of four, grew up in Wembley before joining the Queens Park Rangers academy, where he first turned heads.
With England's best clubs lining up for his signature, it was former Liverpool and current Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez who secured his services for an initial fee of £600,000 (J$90 million) in 2010.
Current Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, earlier this week said he expected a deal to be reached in a matter of days.
'Hopefully, that will be concluded in the next 24 hours," Rodgers told the Daily Mail on Wednesday.
"There was never any issues. I was always calm. I had spoken with Raheem and his representatives. There was never any issue from their side either," Rodgers added. "It was not just about finance. This is a young player who has rocketed from Liverpool's reserves to England's first team.
"I have always been of the belief that this would be best for him. Once we get everything concluded, we can start the next progress of his development. It is important to have a core of young British talent," said Rodgers.
Despite featuring for England friendly international defeat to Sweden last month, Sterling is still eligible for selection to Jamaica's team, since he is yet to play a competitive game for Roy Hodgson's team.