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Raheem Sterling looks ready to leave Liverpool – Thompson

Phil Thompson expects Raheem Sterling to leave Liverpool this summer, while Jordon Ibe is expected to sign a new deal.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 4, 2015: Liverpool's Raheem Sterling looks dejected after missing a chance against Arsenal during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

OPINION: How much would Sterling’s departure hurt LFC?

Full-back Glen Johnson has not been offered a new deal while fellow defender Kolo Toure and goalkeeper Brad Jones also have contracts which expire this summer.

Toure has been offered new terms but it seems increasingly unlikely the 34-year-old will stay on but full-back Jon Flanagan, also in the last few weeks of his contract, is expected to be offered a new deal despite knee surgery ruling him out until well into next season.

Steve Gerrard urged Fenway Sports Group, who sanctioned nearly £120million of spending last summer, to invest again to fill the void left by his departure.

“Hopefully the owners will dig deep so the squad can be strengthened with the quality needed to bring more good times in the future,” he said.

Press Association Sport understands 19-year-old winger Jordon Ibe is close to signing a new agreement which will reflect his emergence into the first team this season but the future of Raheem Sterling, a year older, remains unclear.

The England international still has more than two years to run on his existing deal but turned down Liverpool’s £100,000-a-week offer earlier in the year and will not reopen talks until the end of the season.

Former Reds captain Phil Thompson believes the writing is on the wall for the youngster, who has been pressed into an unfamiliar central striker role this season because of injuries to Daniel Sturridge.

“I think it will be very difficult for him to stay at Liverpool now. He’s shown all the signs that he’s ready and prepared to leave the club,” Thompson told Sky Sports.

“But if he was to stay I would like to think his role will be on the flanks – I don’t think Liverpool can even contemplate him being their main striker next season, because he’s not a natural goalscorer.

“Liverpool need somebody who’s going to get you at least 15 league goals and maybe 25 overall – Raheem Sterling is not going to get you that.

“He’s done well for the team – he’s helped them out up front this season, but I think everyone can see that he’s not quite strong enough for it.

“So, no matter where he is next season, I think his best role is out wide rather than through the middle.”

OPINION: How much would Sterling’s departure hurt LFC?

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