Liverpool look likely to lose rebel as Real Madrid loom

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It seems set to be the transfer saga that rumbles on deep into the summer, but Raheem Sterling’s future is anything but certain.

First there was the contract issue, with the England youngster reportedly turning down a £100,000-per-week deal, then came the unsanctioned interview with the BBC in which the winger challenged his club to build a trophy-winning side and denied being a “money grabbing 20-year-old.”

Now, in the latest twist, Sterling’s head is likely to be turned further with the news that Real Madrid are monitoring his increasingly prickly situation.

That was the admission of Los Blancos legend and current Castilla manager Zinedine Zidane, who named Sterling as a player Real were keeping tabs on in their pursuit of the “best young players in the world”.

Considering Zidane claimed the La Liga giants adopted the same approach with Gareth Bale, Isco and Raphael Varane, all of whom ended up making big-money moves to the Santiago Bernabeu, Reds fans should start to feel quite concerned over their ownership of Sterling.

Sterling’s situation has also attracted the attention of some of England’s leading clubs, with Chelsea and Manchester City rumoured to hold an interest in picking up the pacey forward should his relationship on Merseyside sour further.

At the request of both Sterling and his agent, contract negotiations with the 13/2 top-four hopefuls won’t resume until the summer, leaving everybody guessing as to where the 14-cap international will end up.

If he really does want to build a legacy of trophy winning during his career, then the interest of three of the biggest clubs in European football is sure to tempt the 20-year-old into backing his bags.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.