Over the summer, there was plenty of talk of new contracts for some of Liverpool's most important contributors. Daniel Sturridge, Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling, Philippe Coutinho, and Jon Flanagan were all spoken of as players the club was looking to tie down. At some point, rumours have had each of them on the verge of signing a new deal.
Instead, a week into October, it's only Sturridge who actually has a new deal. Though Sterling and Coutinho still have three and four years left on their current contracts, the cases of Flanagan and Henderson are slightly more urgent. In Henderson's, his current contract runs through 2016, and the club will want to avoid entering next season with only a year to go on it.
"I am just concentrating on playing football," was Henderson's unconcerned take on the matter when asked about rumours a new Liverpool deal was in the works. "I am not worried about that. I am enjoying my football, I love this club, and I want to be here for many years so that shouldn’t be an issue. I’ll let my agent sort that out, it’s nothing to do with me."
It's certainly comforting to hear that Henderson sees his future at the club and has no concerns. Still, given Brendan Rodgers at one point suggested that he'd like to have the new contracts all sorted before the season started, that we're two months in and they still mostly aren't does lead to questions about what might have changed to cause such a delay.
And while the Sturridge deal has now been done and there continue to be whispers about deals for Henderson and Sterling being in the works, any talk of new contracts for Coutinho and Flanagan has largely disappeared. Coutinho having four years left on his current deal means there's less need for urgency there, but Flanagan is in the final year of his.
Given he's an Academy graduate who grew up within sight of Anfield, one imagines that he's amongst the least likely players to decide to leave on a free if he's still wanted at the club. The more concerning thing, perhaps, will be what it would mean if the club had decided to hold off on any negotiations due to fears about the seriousness of his knee injury.
After undergoing surgery, Flanagan remains on the long-term injury list. He is expected to be out until the new year at the very earliest.