Rodgers: I didn’t say Sterling is like Messi

The former Swansea City manager was quoted as saying the England international starlet is similar to the three-time Ballon d’Or winner in that he gets fans on their feet

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has denied comparing Raheem Sterling with Lionel Messi ahead of the new Premier League campaign.

The teenage winger has earned rave reviews during pre-season as he looks to build on an impressive 2013-14 in which he became a key cog in the Reds’ push towards the league title.

And though Rodgers was quoted as saying that, like Messi, Sterling is the type of player who gets supporters off their seats when he finds himself on the ball, he has now denied he made those claims, while he also revealed he knows nothing of an apparent new contract for the England international.

“I didn’t say Raheem Sterling was like Lionel Messi, I was a bit shocked to read I’d ‘said’ that. He’s a great young talent, though,” he told reporters.

“Sterling is just one of a number of young players here with so much potential, we’re looking forward to seeing their developments.

“I’ve not heard anything about Sterling being offered a new contract,” he added.

Sterling is set to become one of the Anfield club’s leading lights following the departure of Luis Suarez to Barcelona, with Rodgers having also brought in seven new players as he looks to compete on both a domestic and European level.

And the former Swansea City boss believes that his work over the summer will set the squad up for years to come, though he admitted he is still looking for a striker to replace Suarez.

“We’re nearly done with transfers. There’s one or two more things to complete. We needed to develop the squad this year, add more depth.

“The players we’ve brought in will allow us to deal with injuries and more games. We needed to bring in players this summer.

“This summer will probably be our biggest transfer window for the next two years.

“We’re looking to make this a sustainable team for the next five to 10 years. There’s lots of young talent.

“We’ll look to improve that top end of the field, but if the right player doesn’t come along, we’ll play with what we’ve got.”

Rodgers also confirmed that a deal to bring Sevilla left-back Alberto Moreno to the club is nearing completion as his squad takes shape ahead of Sunday’s curtain-raiser against Southampton.

“The Alberto Moreno deal is to be completed very soon and he’ll be a terrific signing for us if that’s done.”

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