Sterling hopeful over Liverpool deal

Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling is "hopeful" he will sign a new contract before long and is backing the club to finish in the top four.

Raheem Sterling is optimistic that he will sign a new contract with Liverpool in the near future and is backing the Merseyside club to secure a UEFA Champions League spot.

England forward Sterling's future has been the subject of much speculation due to a long-running contract saga, with his current deal due to expire at the end of next season.

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has repeatedly stated that he expects the 20-year-old to put pen to paper on a fresh deal soon, and Sterling revealed after scoring in Sunday's 2-0 win at Southampton that talks are ongoing.

He told the Liverpool Echo: "We're working on it and hopefully it will be sorted soon."

Victory at St Mary's Stadium leaves Liverpool sixth in the table, just two points behind fourth-placed Manchester United with 12 games remaining.

Sterling is confident in-form Liverpool can secure a top-four finish in the Premier League despite making such a disappointing start to the season.

"It's a great win for us [at Southampton]," Sterling said.

"We knew we had to come here and do the job and we did that. The boys defended really well and we took our chances when they came.

"You have to win dirty at times and we did that. That was the most important thing.

"It's always good to get on the scoresheet and it was especially pleasing that it was the goal that killed the game off.

"We knew we were top-four material from the start of the season. Obviously, it didn't go as planned at the start but now we're showing what we can do.

"Credit to the boys, we just keep to need keep performing and keep fighting and then we'll definitely get to where we want to be.

"All the boys are really up for it. Everyone is fighting hard for the team and defending with their lives."