Football - Liverpool is the best place for Sterling - Rodgers

Manager Brendan Rodgers believes Liverpool provide the ideal environment in which teenager Raheem Sterling can flourish.

The 18-year-old has become a first-team regular this season having made a real impact in the early games of Rodgers' tenure.

That progress has been rewarded with a new long-term contract, which Sterling is expected to sign today, to reflect his rising status.

There was a slight hold up to the deal being finalised as negotiations had to be thrashed out over the scale of his pay rise - from a reported £2,000-a-week to nearer £30,000.

But Rodgers insisted extended discussions were also about football as well as financial decisions.

"It was just making sure that we take care in terms of the financial - but also the football - plan for the player," said the Reds boss.

"This was about a young player who has rocketed from playing in the youth teams and the reserves into becoming a full England international.

"A lot has happened in his young life and it was just about making sure that there was that protection for him going forward - both in his financial situation and his football plan.

"I have always been confident that this was going to be the best place for him and thankfully the kid is very focused and devoted to Liverpool.

"His representatives know this is the best place for him. Once it gets concluded, he can start to the next part of his development and hopefully he can keep progressing."