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No-one's talking about the FA Cup final - Mignolet

Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet insists no-one - not least Steven Gerrard - is talking about a potential fairytale FA Cup final send-off for the Reds captain.

Gerrard turns 35 on the day of the Wembley showpiece on May 30, which could be his final Liverpool appearance before heading off to Major League Soccer for a new career with the LA Galaxy.

Liverpool took a step closer to that scenario by booking a semi-final against Aston Villa next weekend with a narrow 1-0 replay victory over Blackburn, but it is not a subject for discussion within the dressing room.

''No-one's talking about final'' - Mignolet Credit: PA Pictures

"Nobody is talking about it. Stevie is the first one to acknowledge that," said Mignolet.

"He is the first one to acknowledge that we can't have any extra pressure on the team.

"He won't let us think in a different way. We just want to focus on Villa and the games before that.

"Before we speak about the final, we have got to get through the semi-final and the only thing we can keep in mind now is how to get past Villa. Then we will see what comes. Villa will be tough."

While Liverpool have booked their first Wembley appearance since 2012, when they went there three times on the way to lifting the League Cup and finishing FA Cup runners-up, Mignolet accepts it will count for nothing if they do not make the next step.

Dream final beckons for Gerrard Credit: PA Pictures

However, after back-to-back Premier League defeats he insists they cannot afford to allow the semi-final to distract their focus from Monday's visit of Newcastle.

"We are pleased with what we did against Blackburn but the next focus is the league.

"After the Arsenal and Manchester United games we didn't have much time to think about getting back to positive ways.

"Blackburn was a massive game and we needed to respond....and we did that."


Raheem Sterling 'not going anywhere' this summer insists Liverpool manager Rodgers

'Not going anywhere' - Raheem Sterling Credit: PA Pictures

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insists Raheem Sterling is going nowhere this summer as they have no intention of selling one of their prize assets despite his contract dispute being played out in the full glare of the media.

In an interview not sanctioned by the club the 20-year-old denied he was a "money-grabber" for turning down a reported £100,000-a-week contract and said no amount of money would persuade him to sign a new deal before the summer.

Negotiations have been put on hold until the end of the season, at the request of the player and his representative, so for Sterling to fan the flames now came as something of a surprise to Reds officials.

It produced more speculation about Sterling's future but Rodgers is adamant they will not be backed into a corner by the fear of losing one of their brightest talents.

"He is not going anywhere in the summer so we will very much focus on trying to make him the best player we can," Rodgers said of Sterling.

When it was suggested to the Reds boss that money talks he added: "I think we as a club have shown that is not the case.

"Liverpool are one of the superpowers of football and the owners have made it clear - and we've seen it before - that money does not come into it.

"The club is not going to sell and if it doesn't want to sell it won't sell, it is simple as that.

"Money has never been the objective for the club. Whatever player - Raheem or anyone - leaves here it will always be on the terms of the club."

Standing firm - Brendan Rodgers Credit: PA Pictures

Liverpool remain in a position of strength as Sterling's current contract, worth a reported £35,000 a week, runs until the summer of 2017.

Rodgers suggested the player's decision to go public was a mistake but partly excused it on the grounds of his inexperience.

"He didn't have permission by the club, it was something that surprised us all to be honest," he added.

"He is a young player who is still learning on and off the pitch and sometimes you will make mistakes as a youngster.

"Our relationship is strong, which is important. He knows I am working in the best interests of the club and him.

"He will learn as time goes on, like we all do, you make mistakes in life - especially when you are young."

Anfield charity match attracts all-star players

Gerrard's squad

Brad Jones, Glen Johnson, Kevin Nolan, Scott Dann, Ashley Williams, John Arne Riise, Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres, Rickie Lambert, Xabi Alonso, Thierry Henry, Charlie Adam, Ryan Babel, Jay Spearing, John Terry, Stephen Warnock, Anthony Gerrard, Joao Carlos Teixeira.

Carragher squad

Jose Enrique, Luis Garcia, Didier Drogba, Craig Noone, Harry Kewell, Alvaro Arbeloa, Alberto Moreno, Stewart Downing, Lucas Leiva, Gael Clichy, Jamie Carragher, Pepe Reina, Fabio Borini, Peter Gulacsi, Jonjo Shelvey, Martin Kelly, Jon Flanagan, Craig Bellamy, Mario Balotelli, Jerome Sinclair.

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