Monday, 7 January 2013

Jamie Carragher To Get New Liverpool Deal

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is set to reward veteran defender Jamie Carragher with a new contract that will keep him at the Anfield club until the end of his career.

The 34-year-old has had few starts in recent months and there were reports that he would not be offered a new deal when his current contract expires in the summer.

But Rodgers remains a big fan of the Reds’ loyal servant who made his debut 16 years ago and has promised him that he still has plenty to offer on and off the pitch.

Carragher, who is second in the club’s all-time list with 719 appearances, is likely to captain a youthful side including new signing Daniel Sturridge in today’s FA Cup third round tie at Conference side Mansfield Town.

Rodgers said: “We spoke before Christmas and decided we’d have a chat after Christmas. There is no doubt I want him to stay as a player because he still has a lot to offer.

“He has been a pivotal player, a real iconic player for this club. He is still in great condition and looks after himself.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to work with top European players in my time. The will and desire at 34 years of age of this guy is remarkable. I love every minute of working with him.

“He and Steven Gerrard have been the best players here over a long period and perhaps over a year to 18 months he hasn’t played as many games as he would have liked.

“It has not been easy for him, but he’s from the old school with great values and ethics. We communicate a lot, talking about football and life in general. He is always there for me, someone to rely on.

“What is important is that I recognise his qualities on the field, but equally I recognise him as a man off the field. He is a wonderful example to any player, absolutely incredible, and he still has got a few years left him yet, for sure.”

Carragher is likely to be offered a new 12-month deal, but Rodgers hinted a longer one could be on the table if the former England defender wants it.

While determined to keep his old general, Rodgers admits Liverpool has to invest in youth to overcome a lack of depth in the squad.

Despite a busy workload of league and cup matches coming up, Rodgers hints that the £12m capture of striker Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea could be the only new addition.

“It was clear this year that it was going to be difficult, but you have to keep looking forward,” said Rodgers.

“We’ve had one transfer window and that was where we had to lose a number of players. We’re trying to grow again and if you don’t have the finances to go out and get players, you have to cultivate them, and also look for different types of players.

“Every manager wants lots of money to sign players but I feel that we’re only a few players short of being a top side.”

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