Raheem Sterling and Jordon Ibe
Raheem Sterling appears increasingly likely to be leaving Liverpool this summer Getty Images

Liverpool have the tailor-made replacement for Raheem Sterling in the form of Jordon Ibe, according to ex-Reds striker John Aldridge.

Sterling is preparing to tell the Anfield club that he wants to leave during the upcoming summer transfer window after rejecting an extension to his contract, which expires in 2017.

Arsenal, Manchester City and Real Madrid have all been linked with a move for the England international but Liverpool are expected to fight off any interest in the winger.

But with Sterling having seemingly made his mind up over his future, Aldridge says Liverpool should allow the player to leave for a hefty fee and rely on their current resources to fill the void.

"It's a very tough dilemma," he told the Liverpool Echo. "What's best for the club? If Raheem really wants to leave the club, then my opinion is that you get what you can for him now if he doesn't want to play for Liverpool Football Club.

"It's not ideal with Steven Gerrard leaving at the same time but if we get £40m we've got an ideal replacement for Raheem's position in Jordon Ibe. It's a hard one for the manager, for Ian Ayre and for John Henry.

"I'm biased of course but what would you want to leave one of the greatest clubs in the world for? He could always get a clause in his contract if something came along."

Agent Aidy Brown says reports regarding Sterling's future have been "blown out of proportion" but talks will be held this week between the 20-year-old, chief executive Ian Ayre and manager Brendan Rodgers.

Liverpool have failed to qualify for the Champions League this season and are not yet guaranteed a European place after an inconsistent campaign, and among Sterling's grievances are understood to be the club's inability to compete for silverware.

Aldridge added: "I've watched him progress for five years, I saw a lot of his games from when he was a 15-year-old through my work with LFCTV and he's far from the complete player yet.

"He's got to work hard to get there, he's got the right manager in Brendan Rodgers and he's going to get lots of games.

"I want him to be at Liverpool for the rest of his career. If he can endear himself to the fans again then there's no reason for him to leave Liverpool. From where we are I'd be surprised if he stayed but I'd love to be proved wrong."