Luis Suarez: Liverpool striker ends exit speculation by signing 'long-term' contract

The Uruguay international pushed for a move away over the summer

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has signed a new 'long-term' contract at Liverpool.

Early reports suggest that the contract runs until 2018 and will see the 26-year-old earn £200,000-a-week.

It was revealed by The Independent earlier this week that the Reds' managing director Ian Ayre had travelled to Barcelona to discuss a new deal with the striker's agent Pere Guardiola.

It was initially expected that any agreement between the striker and the club would take some time to be reached, possibly until the club had guaranteed a place in next season's Champions League.

However, Liverpool announced this afternoon that the Uruguay international had agreed new terms.

"I am delighted to have agreed a new deal with Liverpool and have my future secured for the long term," said Suarez.

"We have some great players and the team is growing and improving all the time. I believe I can achieve the ambitions of winning trophies and playing at the very highest level with Liverpool. My aim is to help get us there as quickly as possible.

"Without doubt the backing I have received from the Liverpool fans has influenced my decision. I am so proud to represent them and go out to do my best for them every time I pull on the shirt.

"We have a special relationship; they have love for me and in return I love them back. I will always do my best for them and hopefully we can achieve success together."

The 'special relationship' Suarez talks about has been severely tested during his time at the club during which he has been suspended for biting Branislav Ivanovic and banned for racially abusing Patrice Evra.

During the summer, he agitated for a move away from the club, and appeared to be courting Real Madrid. A move did not transpire, and Liverpool's reluctance to let him go has paid dividends for the club. In the 12 games he has played this season, he has scored 17 goals.

His form has helped propel Liverpool to second in the Premier League.

Brendan Rodgers said earlier this week that he expected Suarez, who joined the club from Ajax in January 2011, to sign a new deal and has expressed his delight at it happening so swiftly.

"This is fantastic news for everyone associated with the club; the team, the owners and most importantly the supporters," he said.

"Luis is a world-class talent and securing his services is crucial for what we are trying to achieve here.

"What's most important and most exciting is that, at just 26-years -old, his best years are still ahead of him and we now know we'll be seeing him reach that potential in a Liverpool shirt."

Principal owner John W Henry, who memorably took to Twitter to mock Arsenal's bid of £40m plus £1 that they lodged in the summer, has pointed to the progress the deal shows.

"We are committed to working hard to keep our best players and this is an indication that we are moving in the right direction and moving at a pace that impresses one of the best players in world football," he said.

"The club has made major strides forward in recent years and we are all committed to delivering the success our supporters want and deserve."

Liverpool chairman, Tom Werner, said: "This demonstrates our commitment, as an ownership group, to building a team that competes at the highest level both in the Barclays Premier League and in Europe.

"Our primary motive is to do what is best for Liverpool Football Club and today's news is another significant step forward on this journey."