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Page last updated at 17:51 GMT, Tuesday, 20 July 2010 18:51 UK

England captain Steven Gerrard set to stay at Liverpool

Steven Gerrard

Gerrard scores England's first goal of the 2010 World Cup

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has assured the club he plans to remain at Anfield, BBC Sport understands.

Despite signing a new deal committing himself to Liverpool until 2013 only last June, reports suggested Gerrard would seek a transfer this summer.

But after meeting boss Roy Hodgson, he has committed his future to the club.

"I wanted the chance to meet Roy Hodgson privately," the 30-year-old told the club website. "I'm very impressed with his plans for the team."

He added: "I only returned to training on Monday at Melwood with some of the other World Cup players but I can't wait for the new season to start."

Gerrard has been linked with a move to Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid during a summer in which he endured a disappointing World Cup campaign with England in South Africa.

The fact he has broken his silence about his future will go some way to reassuring Liverpool fans of his future plans, and he explained: "I made it clear that I simply needed to concentrate on the World Cup and then have a decent holiday with my family."

BBC Sports news correspondent Dan Roan reported: "It seems clear that Gerrard has been impressed by what the club have had to say about their future plans and, also, I think he's been encouraged by the signing of Joe Cole.

"His comments went almost all the way to saying he would definitely be staying without actually saying that - and later on I spoke to the club who confirmed that indeed that that is the case.

"It will be a great relief to the club that Gerrard appears - for one more season at least - to have committed his future to the club."

New Liverpool boss Hodgson greeted Gerrard's apparent pledge with understandable delight, saying: "It's a great piece of news. There won't be anyone in Liverpool today who isn't delighted to hear that.

Hopefully with the signing of Joe Cole - and if we are lucky one or two others, to boost the squad - we will be going into this season's competition, maybe stronger on paper than we were last season

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson

"I'm really pleased about it because I've got great respect for Steven Gerrard. He's a player who I was really looking forward to working with when I came to Liverpool.

"It seems now with that commitment that this will happen. It gives everyone a boost without question.

"It will be a tough season, with a lot of matches and the disappointment of last season is going to take a while to dissipate, but it is very good that our best player is still going to be playing at this club.

"Hopefully with the signing of Joe Cole - and if we are lucky one or two others, to boost the squad - we will be going into this season's competition, maybe stronger on paper than we were last season."

Gerrard, along with Jamie Carragher and Glen Johnson, returned to training on Monday as they started their pre-season preparations after three weeks off following England's exit from the World Cup.

England tamely went out at the last-16 stage after a 4-1 thrashing by Germany but Gerrard and Carragher did use the opportunity of being on international duty with Cole to persuade him to come to Anfield.

Joe is a player who has the ability to get supporters off their seats and I've no doubt he will do that here. It's the kind of signing that we needed to make

Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher

The Reds beat Tottenham to the free transfer of the 28-year-old attacking midfielder, who left Chelsea in June.

Hodgson also told TalkSport: "Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard did a good job in selling the club to Joe at the World Cup.

"He was undecided about what he wanted to do and to be fair it takes a bit more selling to persuade a Londoner who has played all his life in London to move up to Liverpool.

"The simple solution would have been to stay in the London area."

Cole, who played 18 minutes against Slovenia and 27 minutes in the defeat by Germany during the World Cup, has travelled to Switzerland to undergo a medical at Liverpool's pre-season training camp after agreeing terms on a four-year deal .

Gerrard said: "It's a great signing for us. I know Joe well through the England set-up and have seen first hand just how good a player he is.

"He's proved his ability over many years in the Premier League, sometimes against us - so it will be fantastic to play alongside him in a red shirt for Liverpool.

"I've told him what a great club this is and I'm sure Joe's the sort of exciting talent our fans will love to see."

Joe Cole

Cole scores wonder goal for England

Liverpool defender Carragher believes Cole's arrival at Anfield delivers a statement of intent.

"It's great news and it is a message that Liverpool mean business," Carragher told the club website.

"We have signed a top international player who has been really important for Chelsea.

"A lot of clubs wanted to sign him but it is a real coup that he has chosen to come here and you have got to give the manager and the board a pat on the back for convincing him to come here.

"Every supporter that I have spoken to is absolutely delighted and all the players are the same - it's given everyone a boost, just at the right time."

Carragher believes Cole's arrival is the kind of fillip the club needed after disappointingly finishing seventh in the Premier League last season and failing to qualify for the Champions League.

"It has been a long summer and we have been in a transitional period but now the World Cup is out of the way, we can start to look forward again," stated Carragher.

"Joe is a player who has the ability to get supporters off their seats and I've no doubt he will do that here.

"It's good news again and, hopefully, there will be more to come. It's the kind of signing that we needed to make.

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"Joe is someone I have known for a long time from playing with England. He is a great lad to have around the squad, he mixes well and is a lively character - he's also an outstanding footballer.

"In the modern game, you need forwards that can function in two or three different positions and Joe will do that, no problem at all. He can play on the right, through the middle or on the left."

Meanwhile, Hodgson hopes Cole's impact will buoy the club's fans as well as players.

"I am pleased to get the player because it is very important to try to improve our squad as much as we can in order to reach the high goals we have set ourselves," said Hodgson.

"It is also pleasing the reaction of the fans has been as positive as our reaction, so at the moment that is perfect.

"Now it is up to Joe to show on the field he is the right man."

And BBC Sport football pundit Mark Lawrenson welcomed the news, saying: "I'm sure everyone associated with the club is very relieved because Gerrard, alongside Carragher, has been the real driving force for Liverpool for the last 10 years or so.

"I don't think anyone would've blamed him if he'd said he wanted to go and finish his career somewhere else, but after a couple of meetings with Roy Hodgson, and having seen the signings of Joe Cole and Jovanovic, it would appear the mood in the club is on the up rather than down, which has been the opposite in the last six months or so.

"Steve has obviously seen that. It's fantastic news."



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see also
Liverpool complete Cole signing
21 Jul 10 |  Liverpool
Joe Cole's career in photos
20 Jul 10 |  Football
Key duo 'not for sale' - Hodgson
16 Jul 10 |  Liverpool
Cole and Ballack to leave Chelsea
09 Jun 10 |  Chelsea
Gerrard signs Liverpool contract
09 Jul 09 |  Liverpool


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TheScore.com Gerrard commits to Liverpool - 35 mins ago
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