April 07, 2015 13:09:00 UK
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has revealed the club are monitoring Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling and view him as one of the best young players in the world.
The future of the 20-year-old at Anfield has been shrouded in mystery of late after Sterling confirmed he had turned down the Reds latest contract offer.
In an interview last week, the England international claimed he would not consider signing a new deal until the summer and could be tempted by a move elsewhere.
This has lead to plenty of speculation linking Sterling with a move away from Merseyside, with Madrid said to be one possible destination.
Zinedane, who coaches Real’s B team, has now confirmed Los Blancos could pursue a deal for Sterling, claiming he could be one of a few players capable of improving the Champions League holders squad.
“We know who Raheem Sterling is, and of course we are monitoring him as a player,” Zidane said.
“There are very few players in the world who can improve the Real Madrid squad, so it is going to make sense we monitor the progress of the best young players in the world.
“We monitored (Gareth) Bale for over a year, the same with Isco and also (Raphael) Varane.
“We monitor many of the best young players in Europe, then if we feel they have something to offer Real Madrid we will contact their club and try and make the next step.”
Zinedane’s comments come after Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers had insisted Sterling would not be allowed to leave this summer, even if he decides not to sign a new contract.
“Raheem has two and a half years left on his deal and he’s not going anywhere in the summer,” said Rodgers. “He’s quite relaxed, as I am, and he just wants to focus on the rest of the season.”
Liverpool’s chances of keeping Sterling could be improved if they can secure either Champions League football for next season or a trophy.
The Reds are 7.00 to finish in the top four, while they are 3.25 to win the FA Cup ahead of Wednesday’s quarter-final replay with Championship side Blackburn.
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