Steven Gerrard looks set to stay at Liverpool

London: Steven Gerrard said he was looking forward to working with new Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson on Tuesday, the clearest sign yet that the England midfielder will still be playing at Anfield this coming season.

"I wanted the chance to meet Roy Hodgson privately and having done so I`m very impressed with his plans for the future of the team," Liverpool captain Gerrard told the club`s website.

"I`ve only returned to training today at Melwood with some of the other World Cup players, but I can`t wait for the new season to start."

Gerrard`s comments come the day after Liverpool signed out-of-contract England midfielder Joe Cole and will increase optimism on Merseyside that the club can challenge for silverware after finishing a lowly seventh in the Premier League last season.

Both Gerrard and Spain striker Fernando Torres, the club`s two most valuable players, have been linked with moves away from Liverpool, who have reported debts of 350 million pounds.

Keeping Gerrard and Torres happy is the first priority for Hodgson, who left Fulham to take over at Liverpool in the wake of Rafael Benitez`s sacking in June.

Gerrard has been at the club since he was a schoolboy and is seen as the heart of the team, although last season Liverpool relied too heavily on the all-action England international.

Hodgson was clearly pleased to hear Gerrard`s comments.

"It`s a great piece of news," he said. "There won`t be anyone in Liverpool today who isn`t delighted to hear that."

"I`m really pleased about it because I`ve got great respect for Steven Gerrard. He`s a player who I was really looking forward to working with when I came to Liverpool."

"It seems now with that commitment that this will happen. It gives everyone a boost without question."

"It will be a tough season, with a lot of matches and the disappointment of last season is going to take a while to dissipate, but it is very good that our best player is still going to be playing at this club."

Gerrard had been seen as a target for new Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho, who also tried to tempt Gerrard away from Liverpool when he was manager of Chelsea.

Bureau Report

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