The England international turned down a new Liverpool contract thought to be worth £100,000-a-week last season before Sterling completed a £49m move to Manchester City in the summer transfer window.
When I left Liverpool, he was one of the first to message me
Rodgers was responsible for easing Sterling into the Liverpool side in 2012 before the 21-year-old blossomed into an important part of the Reds side before his big-money move last year.
However, former Liverpool manager Rodgers, who replaced Jurgen Klopp at Anfield in October, insisted that he never fell out with the England forward despite reports in the media.
“It wasn’t ideal [the timing of Sterling’s move],” Rodgers told Goals on Sunday.
“What was reported was different to how it was on a day-to-day basis. Raheem is a great boy. I put him in the team at 17 and for the next couple of years, he was incredible.
“He was very close to signing a deal, but for whatever reason, it didn’t happen.”
Rodgers added that Sterling was one of the first people to send a message to the Liverpool manager following his sacking.
“I was surprised that,” Sterling added.
“Even when he left, we were still in contact. When I left Liverpool, he was one of the first to message me.”
Sterling scored 23 times in 129 appearances in all competitions for Liverpool before his move to City.
The England man has nine goals in 25 games for the Citizens so far this season following his £49m move to the Etihad Stadium.
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