Liverpool are keen to resolve the uncertainty over Steven Gerrard's future by opening negotiations on a new contract this week.
Gerrard's representative is expected to meet the Anfield hierarchy in the next few days in another clear sign that Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers wants his captain to stay.
The former England midfielder, 34, has never found himself so close to becoming a free agent. His current deal expires next summer and he could sign a pre-contract agreement with a rival club in the new year. But Rodgers has assured him he is crucial to the club's future and a one-year extension will be on offer with the precise financial details yet to be discussed.
Last month, Gerrard had hinted at a possible exit from Anfield, after revealing there had been no discussions, and Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini had even admitted an interest in signing him.
But Rodgers has spoken with the Liverpool board to make his feelings clear on the situation and now the club will meet Gerrard's agent this week in an effort to reach an amicable conclusion.
Raheem Sterling's future is also high on the agenda for the Merseysiders, with talks continuing over a new £100,000-a-week deal.
Sterling has emerged as one of the most coveted young players in Europe, with Real Madrid believed to be among his admirers, but there is no sense of panic over his future at Liverpool. The teenager's representatives are also poised to meet Ian Ayre, the club's chief executive, in the next week and an agreement is in sight.
Liverpool are also ready to discuss new deals with Jordan Henderson, Philippe Coutinho and Joe Allen as the club seek to tie down the core of their squad.
Daniel Sturridge has revealed he will be in contention for a first-team return after the international break, as he steps up his recovery from a thigh injury.
Sturridge has been out since September but is likely to boost Liverpool by being available for the game at Crystal Palace on November 23. "I feel so good right now," he said yesterday. His return will be timely for Rodgers after a difficult start to the season.
Sterling said: "It will be a massive boost to have Daniel back playing. We have missed him and the more quality players you have fit and available, the better. He gives us that threat in the box and he scores goals. We're all really looking forward to having him back in the team.
"After a defeat you usually want the next game to come along fast but I think having this break can help us. We need to get going after the international break and start winning games to turn this around.
"Losing hurts, especially losing a big game at home (against Chelsea). Every team goes through sticky patches but I'm sure we'll start climbing the table soon." (© Daily Telegraph, London)