• Premier League

Rodgers agrees new four-year Liverpool deal

ESPN staff
May 7, 2014
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Brendan Rodgers has provisionally agreed a new four-year deal to stay on as Liverpool manager.

Rodgers, who arrived at Anfield from Swansea in June 2012, has been in talks to extend a contract that currently runs until the end of next season.

The deal has yet to be signed, sources have told ESPN, but that could happen before Liverpool's final Premier League match of the season, at home to Newcastle.

Managing director Ian Ayre, speaking at the club's end of season awards ceremony on Tuesday evening, said of Rodgers that "we'll all look forward to working with him for many years, we hope."

Rodgers signed a three-year deal when he arrived at Anfield, with an option for an extra season depending on performance. In a show of faith, the final year of the new contract will not be optional and the former Swansea manager is grateful he has been allowed to shine at Liverpool.

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He said: "I would like to thank the owners and the executive team for what they have done for me since I have been here. They brought a young manager of 39 into one of the biggest clubs in the world and gave me the chance to develop the vision of football that I have. If it wasn't for their faith in me I probably wouldn't be here given the pressures of modern football."

Rodgers has impressed Liverpool's Boston-based owners Fenway Sports Group by inspiring a title tilt and guiding the club to Champions League qualification this year after last season's seventh-place finish.

His team are currently the Premier League's leading scorers too with 99 goals, though Manchester City sit at 96 goals and could catch Liverpool in their final two games.

Principal owner John W. Henry said in April that the club were "ahead of schedule" in keeping the title race open until the end of the season.

Ayre paid tribute to Rodgers for leading that challenge, saying: "For those of us who are fortunate enough to work closely with Brendan, I can tell you that his dedication and commitment to this team and this club are fantastic.

"I'd say it's hard enough to find a good manager to run a top club in football these days.

"But to find one who's not only a great man, but also understands this club and what it stands for and what is special about it, is truly a unique find - so we'll all look forward to working with him for many years, we hope."

Liverpool go into Sunday's game still with a chance of winning their first league title since 1990 but their hopes of finishing top took a severe blow as they let slip a three-goal lead in drawing 3-3 at Crystal Palace on Monday.

However, Rodgers is trying to keep the mood upbeat. "The players have been incredible and they have allowed the supporters to dream," he said. To be the club that is top of the league by one point with one week to go, and you never know what might happen, has taken a huge effort. The only thing I will promise is that while I am here we'll fight for our lives. Our season doesn't finish until after Newcastle."

Rodgers' side lead the league by a point, but second-placed Manchester City have a game in hand and can go top when they host Aston Villa on Wednesday.

City's superior goal difference means that, realistically, they will win the league if they manage to take four points from their final two matches.

At the awards ceremony, it was revealed that 31-goal scorer Luis Suarez had been voted the club's player of the year by both his team-mates and the supporters. The striker leads the Premier League in goals scored this season.

The 27-year-old has already won this season's national player of the year awards handed out the Professional Footballers' Association and the Football Writers' Association.

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