By David Bradford

While reports suggest that both Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are circling ready to pounce on Liverpool youngster Raheem Sterling after the 20-year-old failed to sign a new contract, former Liverpool here John Barnes has a simple message for the young forward telling him to stay on Merseyside.

“It would be a blow if Sterling leaves, but how well is he really playing to warrant more than £75,000 a week?” he said on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.

“He’s had one very good season and he’s not the finished article. He still has to improve, and leaving Liverpool now would be a mistake.

“We’ve seen it before with [Wilfried] Zaha leaving Crystal Palace and going to Manchester United. When a young player, after one good season, gets an opportunity to go, is that the right thing for his career?

“I think he should stay for four or five years and prove his consistency to show he can handle any situation in any country. It would be a bad move for him to leave [now].”