Brendan Rodgers has claimed that Liverpool and Manchester United are the two big clubs in England and said a move to Manchester City will be a step down for Raheem Sterling.

The 20-year-old has already rejected a chance to sign a new deal where the Reds offered him a weekly wage of £100,000-a-week. The Daily Mail reports that the winger could buyout the final year of his contract and make a cut-price move to City or Chelsea this summer.

The former Swansea manager revealed he spoke to City few years ago and has been impressed with the Etihad club's impressive project. However, Rodgers believes the Premier League champions and Chelsea are fighting to reach the level of United and Liverpool.

Liverpool manager claims only a move to United will be a step up for Sterling, if he decides to leave Anifled and continue in the Premier League.

"You've got Liverpool and Manchester United as the two biggest clubs in this country – the rest of them are fighting to be there over the next 20 years," Rodgers explained.

"I wouldn't say that Anfield is a development ground for going to bigger clubs. If you say that Manchester City is a bigger club than Liverpool, you're wrong.

"At this moment in time Manchester City are on a great project. They're a wonderful club, I've seen it for myself a few years ago when I spoke with them. I've got big respect for what they're doing there. They're trying to build it the right way. But at this moment in time you can't compare them to us," he added.

It is unlikely that Liverpool could allow the England international to join their arch-rivals. Rodgers' comments suggest that he believes the Merseyside club is the biggest club in the Premier League apart from United and a move elsewhere would be a downgrade for Sterling.

Meanwhile, Liverpool will take on Aston Villa in the FA Cup semifinal clash at Wembley on Sunday, 19 April. The winner of this tie will take on holders Arsenal in the final. The Gunners made it to the last two of the competition for the second year in a row.