Raheem Sterling
Liverpool remain keen on securing a new deal for Sterling to warn off interest from abroad.Getty Images/Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling has the ability to one day play for Barcelona, according to the club's iconic midfielder Xavi.

Sterling has illuminated English football since bursting on the scene, starring last season as the Reds qualified for the Champions League before playing at the World Cup finals in Brazil.

The 19-year-old's future is currently the source of speculation, with Liverpool attempting to tie the player down to a new contract which could see a release clause of £60m inserted within the fresh deal.

The England international has been linked with a move to Real Madrid in the past but Xavi says the Liverpool youngster and Everton's Ross Barkley could one day grace the Nou Camp.

"Yes, why not? I think that they could," he told Squawka. "They have incredible physical capabilities and they are good technically.

"In Spain, we prioritise players who are technically gifted but both things are very important in football."

Xavi is among the few one-club players in the modern game, having made over 700 appearances for Barcelona across a 16-year professional club career having come through the club's vaunted La Masia academy.

Liverpool's attempts to ward off interest in Sterling could see them offer an improved deal worth £100,000 a week, which could more than treble the wages on the former Queens Park Rangers youngster's current contract.

Brendan Rodgers confirmed the club are in talks over the new deal, and the extension could be confirmed to coincide with Sterling's 20th birthday next month.

"It is not a big issue for us," the Liverpool boss said. "[Chief executive] Ian Ayre has spoken to his representatives and is quite relaxed. The club is dealing with the agent, so everything is calm.

"The boy is remarkably happy here and there are no secondary thoughts about anything else other than continuing to play for Liverpool. He still has a lot of growth and for that the best place for him to be is here.

"His representatives know that and we as a club respect that so that will get sorted out with time.

"His agent is a good agent and understands that this is the perfect place for him."