Sport Soccer

Friday 23 June 2017

Gerrard nails colours to Liverpool mast after Hodgson talks

Rory Smith

STEVEN GERRARD yesterday all but commited his future to Liverpool when he said he was relishing the prospect of lining up alongside England team-mate Joe Cole at Anfield next season.

The disappointments of the last campaign, when the club finished seventh in the Premier League and fell at the Champions League group stage, combined with the ongoing financial strife imposed by owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett, had triggered fears that the 30-year-old would seek a move, most likely to Real Madrid.

The Liverpool captain has previously been reluctant to discuss his future, insisting during the World Cup that he would not contemplate his club career until his international duties were over and that no firm decision would be made until he had met new manager Roy Hodgson.

On his return to training after an extended break following his exertions in South Africa, though, Gerrard offered as clear an indication as possible that he intended to remain at Anfield as he greeted the arrival of Cole.

"I have told Joe what a great club this is and I am sure he is the sort of exciting talent our fans will love to see," he said. "He has 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 made it clear that I simply needed to concentrate on the World Cup and then have a decent holiday with my family. I wanted the chance to meet Roy Hodgson privately and, having done so, I am very impressed with his plans for the future of the team. I cannot wait for the new season to start."

Gerrard's decision is the impact that Hodgson and the Anfield board hoped the signing of Cole -- announced on the same day as a 16pc ticket-price rise -- would have on Liverpool's unsettled crown jewels.

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Irish Independent

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