Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has rejected loan approaches, from Championship clubs, for youngster Raheem Sterling. The Mirror believes Leeds United, Bolton and Cardiff have all had bids denied.

Raheen Sterling

Sterling has attracted considerable interest since breaking into the Reds' first team this season. The 18-year-old forward has made over 30 appearances for Rodgers' side this season, scoring twice.

There was speculation the ex-Swansea City boss would consider loaning Sterling and fellow youngster Suso of Spain out, to gain first team experience but the manager's comments in the Liverpool Echo ruled out that possibility.

Now, however, the Mirror believes Rodgers, while remaining firm on not allowing Sterling to leave, would be open to the idea of Suso finding game time with a Championship club. The 19-year-old Spaniard has made only 19 appearances in all competitions this season and has not featured since the Reds' FA Cup win over Mansfield in early January.

Downing: Liverpool Had Poor Start against Saints

Stewart Downing

Meanwhile, midfielder Stewart Downing believes the reason why the club were hammered 3-1 by Southampton this weekend was because they started the match poorly. Liverpool slumped from a brilliant and dramatic 3-2 win over Champions League-chasing Tottenham last weekend to a shock loss at St Mary's in this round of games.

"We just didn't start brightly enough. The manager said we didn't start playing until we were 2-0 down. He stressed from the start that this was a difficult game, probably one of the hardest of the season. They are scrapping for their lives and, to be fair, they were the better team on the day. You've got to give them credit for that. We started too late," the ex-Aston Villa player told the club Web site.