Football: IT'S FOUR FOR TWO; Gerrard and Carra Sign New Deals to Stay at Kop 'Til 2009 . . and Swoop for Figo Is On

The Mirror (London, England), July 9, 2005 | Go to article overview
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Football: IT'S FOUR FOR TWO; Gerrard and Carra Sign New Deals to Stay at Kop 'Til 2009 . . and Swoop for Figo Is On


Byline: David Maddock

STEVEN GERRARD will parade the European Cup in front of Liverpool fans today as he bids to regain the trust of the Kop.

Gerrard, along with Scouse team-mate Jamie Carragher, signed a new four-year contract yesterday to bring to an end an incredible summer transfer saga that soured his Anfield love affair.

The fans who less than two months ago worshipped him in Istanbul must be wooed anew - and today's pre-season warm-up at Wrexham is Gerrard's first chance to whisper sweet nothings.

And he is likely to be be leading Liverpool's bid for Premiership honours next season alongside Portuguese legend Luis Figo.

Real Madrid have slapped a pounds 2million price tag on a player Liverpool believed they could get for free, but Anfield coach Rafa Benitez is prepared to test Madrid's patience. He believes they will offload 32-year-old Figo for nothing rather than pay pounds 100,000 a week to a player to sit on the bench.

Chief executive Rick Parry said: "There is no progress at the moment but we will see what happens over the next few days - there is a possibility we will sign Figo."

Gerrard, who so nearly joined Chelsea for pounds 32m this week after contract negotiations stalled at Anfield, accepts he has work to do to repair his fractured relationship with Liverpool fans.

"I know there will be people who question me and my commitment. I just want them to know that as far as I am concerned this is it. I am totally committed to Liverpool now," he said. "As long as Liverpool want me I will be here. No matter what happens I will get on with it because I have decided my future.

"There is only one trophy that I haven't won with Liverpool and I aim to put that right. That's what I am concentrating on now - winning the Premiership.

"I don't think Liverpool have had the best of me yet. But now everything is sorted I can settle down and give them my best years." Gerrard's four-year contract is worth around pounds 5m a year, or pounds 100,000 a week. Carragher's deal is thought to be worth around pounds 3m a year, or pounds 60,000 a week.

The pair were unveiled at a ceremony yesterday as though they were new signings - and that is exactly what Carragher believes Gerrard is.

"We all thought he had gone, that he was joining another club, so when he changed his mind it was like getting a new player for nothing - although I'm sure he costs a few quid in wages," said Carragher.

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