- Premier League
Agger pledges future to Liverpool
Liverpool defender Daniel Agger reaffirmed his commitment to the club and is confident that manager Brendan Rodgers will have no problems rebuilding their defence in the summer.
With the Reds set to lose the retiring Jamie Carragher at the end of the season and with possible departures of Sebastian Coates and Martin Skrtel, Rodgers will be forced to deal with the heart of the Liverpool defence before next season.
But he will take heart from Agger's vow to honour the remaining three years of his contract despite transfer speculation that has linked him with the likes of Manchester City and Barcelona in the last 12 months, and even talk of retirement.
"I still have three years left and I intend to fulfil them," the Denmark captain said. "There are always rumours, but who is creating them? I don't know.
"It is not a bad thing to be linked with top clubs but you have to take 70% [of such rumours] off and then you have the reality."
Even with Liverpool set to miss out on European football next season, Agger has no doubt that the Reds will attract the players necessary for a defensive overhaul capable of propelling the club to a top-four finish in 2014 - but says the side needs to add quality throughout the squad.
"Liverpool will always attract great talent and footballers so I'm not worried about that," Agger added. "Liverpool is such a big club worldwide I think - and I hope - most players would want to join this club.
"We need to change something. We need to get some goals in and we need to move forward.
"It is difficult to say if the squad needs much work. We've shown some really good football this season but we haven't been consistent enough - we have to admit that."
Agger will inherit the mantle of elder statesman at the heart of the Liverpool defence, but while the 28-year-old believes he can take on a leadership role at Anfield he admits he cannot replace Carragher's presence.
"Jamie speaks for himself," Agger added. "To be at that level for that long, it's not impossible but really close.
"You learn from every single player you play with in training. If you want to be the best you have to learn from the best.
"I don't think you have to replace him because every footballer is not the same. Every person is different.
"When someone steps down, someone else has to take over. I play the way I do. I am the person I am and I'm doing the things I'm doing and I won't really change.
"I am taking the responsibility I need to take. I enjoy it and there are a few players who are taking a lot of responsibility."