Relief at Liverpool as Gerrard agrees terms

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Steven Gerrard has finally signed a new contract at Liverpool which will keep him at Anfield until summer 2007.

The England midfielder believes Liverpool can provide him with all the silverware he will need in his career, despite suggestions that he and Michael Owen may have to leave for real success.

"I feel as if we have the nucleus of a great team here and I want to stay a part of it," he said. "I am glad the club want me to stay a part of it as well. I hope getting the contract sorted out and becoming captain will give me the boost to go on and improve as a player."

Gerrard had 18 months of his current deal left, so the new £60,000-a-week contract effectively adds only another two years. He will be 27 when the contract expires and by then he will have expected to see Liverpool challenging for - if not winning - the championship on a regular basis.

The fact that Gerrard has put pen to paper after months of speculation that he was a target for Chelsea is an immense relief for the Anfield hierarchy. Gerrard added: "I have always wanted to stay. I have been here since I was eight years old, and there has never been a single moment when I have wanted to move on and play for someone else."

Gerrard, whose decision is a vote of confidence on his part for the Reds under Gérard Houllier, continued: "As a man and as a manager I have a lot of respect for him. I enjoy playing for him. At the end of the day, though, the main thing was me wanting to be here. This is a club I have supported since I was a young boy - and I do not want to leave."