Wednesday 11 December 2019

Rodgers pens new four-year deal to lift bruised Reds

Manager Brendan Rodgers of Liverpool
Manager Brendan Rodgers of Liverpool

Chris Bascombe

Manager Brendan Rodgers has agreed a new four-year deal at Liverpool to offer some consolation to the club's fans after a traumatic 10 days in the Premier League.

While Liverpool's defeat against Chelsea and draw at Crystal Palace have derailed their title bid, Rodgers' long-term future has been secured following talks with owners Fenway Sports Group.

Although it is yet to be signed, it is understood that the contract in principle has been agreed which will keep Rodgers on Merseyside until at least 2018.

Unlike the four-year deal he signed on joining Liverpool from Swansea City two years ago, the final year of this one is not "optional" depending on his performance.

The removal of that safeguard is a symbolic acknowledgement that John W Henry knows he appointed the right man and wants him to lead the club into a prolonged new era.

Rodgers has exceeded expectations. He was tasked with taking the club back into the Champions League and at the start of the season set a target of 76 points to do that. The pursuit of the title – Liverpool are still a point ahead of Manchester City, who need four points from their remaining two games – has been a welcome surprise, albeit it appears to be ending in disappointment.

The circumstances of the past two matches will not cloud the judgment of the club's most serious title bid for 24 years.

There is certainly no prospect of Rodgers ripping up the blueprint that has yielded the most unlikely of title challenges. In the early months of his Liverpool reign, Rodgers was asked what he would do if his plan A is not working. His response was forthright.

"If plan A does not work, the idea is to analyse it and see what we can do to make plan A better," he said. With an extra £20m in Champions League cash going into his summer transfer kitty, Rodgers will not be short of financial support to make the necessary improvements. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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