Rumoured to be in the works for some time, Brendan Rodgers has today signed a new long-term deal to remain at Liverpool Football Club. The news is hardly surprising after a strong sophomore season in charge saw Liverpool mount their most serious title challenge of the Premier League era, but it is exceptionally good news as the club continue to look towards the future.
"It was very important for me," said Rodgers of getting his new deal signed, one that keeps him at the club until at least 2018. "We were talking through the season, but my focus was really on the team and the supporters. I wanted to just make sure we could focus entirely on what we were doing and on the job in hand. Any contract talk we would speak on afterwards.
"It was important that we tried to finish the season in the highest position we possibly could and that would allow us then to look at speaking about the contract after that. It was always going to be straightforward because I love being at Liverpool. There's still a lot of development in the club for me and it was always going to be straightforward once the season was finished."
Straightforward and expected, but still more than welcome, with Rodgers having proven a wise gamble by the club, who made the tough and somewhat controversial call to part ways with club legend Kenny Dalglish after only one full season. Unsurprisingly, then, owner John Henry is himself thrilled to have signed Rodgers to a new deal two years after he arrived.
"We are very fortunate to have a hugely talented individual leading our [club] and in whom we place our trust to deliver the vision we share for Liverpool," said Henry. "Brendan is at the heart of what we, as an ownership group, are trying to achieve. This season has reaffirmed everyone's belief that we can bring football success to Liverpool and we are all committed to working together to achieve that."
With a year left on the three-year contract Rogers signed when he arrived at the club, getting the deal done early in the summer was always a priority to allow the club to sell Rodgers' successful approach to potential recruits. With it now out of the way, attention turns to the transfer market and ensuring Liverpool continue to build on the success of the past season.
"We're still working on signings," said Rodgers, "the staff behind the scenes, myself, the recruitment team, Ian Ayre—we're all working hard looking to get players in. Of course, at the club, where we are now, the signings are complex; they are not all simple signings. But we need to strengthen the squad and that's something that we're working hard to do over the next number of weeks."