Jon Flanagan has discussed his thoughts on the ongoing talks to extend his contract at Liverpool.
Flanagan, 23, who missed the whole of last season through injury, returned to the first-team fold in January and made his first Premier League start since May 2014 in the midweek 3-0 win over Manchester City at Anfield.
The local lad proved to be a key figure as his thunderous challenge in the opening minute on former Liverpool man Sterling set the tone for the rest of the match.
The full-back followed the tackle with a gritty performance that saw Sterling subbed at half-time and helped Liverpool keep a clean sheet – only their second in eight Premier League games.
But Flanagan insisted there was no malice in the challenge and that Sterling and himself have remained friends.
“I didn’t do it because it was Raheem. Him and I are still mates,” Flanagan told Sky Sports.
“The mentality’s the same every game. If the ball’s there to be won, you get there and win it.”
Flanagan is out of contract in the summer and a new deal is yet to be agreed with the club seemingly wanting him to prove his fitness after such a long spell out of the game
“I’m just concentrating on my football, leaving that sort of thing to my agent,” added Flanagan.
“I’ve got to do my talking on the pitch, there’s no point worrying or stressing about it,” he says, before confirming that recent encouraging words from his manager, on the subject of a new deal, have been “music to his ears”.
“It was great to hear. And I’ve heard other people [at the club] want it sorted, so hopefully that’s positive.”