Sunday 18 February 2018

Klopp set to build around Lallana with new £150,000-a-week Liverpool deal

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp celebrates with Adam Lallana
Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp celebrates with Adam Lallana
Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

Chris Bascombe

Adam Lallana will become the latest Liverpool player to commit his long-term future to the club by signing a new four-year contract.

Talks between Liverpool and Lallana's representatives are at an advanced stage, with the England international to shortly agree a deal worth £150,000 a week. The new terms will keep the midfielder on Merseyside until 2021, by which time he will be 32, having spent the peak of his career at the club.

Lallana moved to Liverpool from Southampton in 2014 for £25m. After a tough start when Brendan Rodgers was in charge, he has elevated his game and role under Jurgen Klopp's management. The 28-year-old thrived when used in a deeper midfield role earlier this season. He is also a key player for his country, and likely to be essential to England manager Gareth Southgate's rebuilding process.

Klopp has wanted Lallana tied down to Liverpool as he sees him as the foundation of the side he is building, despite their recent downturn.

Both at the end of last season and the start of this one, Lallana ranked among the Premier League's most consistent performers. An injury while on international duty in November upset his rhythm. Not coincidentally, Liverpool then stopped producing their free-flowing football with the same frequency.

With Liverpool having drifted out of the title race , Lallana admits they must change their mentality from a side that occasionally thrills to one that wins trophies.

Chelsea have dropped just two points in 12 matches against the bottom 10 - grinding out 1-0 wins at Middlesbrough, Crystal Palace and Sunderland - and Lallana believes Liverpool need to discover something similar.

"You can see they have a lot of experience and that they are used to winning," said Lallana. "They know how to win games even when not at their best. You don't have to always win by scoring five or six.

"Maybe that's an area we need to improve on. We maybe need to realise how good we are at times.

"Milly (James Milner) is probably the only one in our group who has that type of experience because it only comes from winning silverware like he did at Manchester City.

"Myself and the other players haven't won titles or loads of cups so we need to learn from him and listen to him because that type of experience is vital.

"We need to learn and get back to winning ways in the league as soon as possible."

Lallana's deal follows that of Philippe Coutinho, who signed a five-year contract last month.

Although Liverpool have been criticised for failing to recruit more players in January, Klopp sees the process as one of evolution, building around those he feels have shown they can meet the highest standards.

His long-term plan was always to add another four or five new faces in the summer, although it was expected Liverpool would be in European competition next season. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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