Liverpool may have suffered a huge blow in the race for the Premier League title on Monday, but it looks like Reds fans will have reason to celebrate at the end of the season regardless, as a host of figures within the club are set to sign new deals.
As hard as it must have been for Liverpool supporters to watch their team throw away a three-goal lead against Crystal Palace, the 2013-14 season has still been a rousing success. According to the Daily Mirror's David Maddock, some of the main protagonists behind that success are about to reap their rewards.
Manager Brendan Rodgers has been negotiating a new deal with the club for some time now, amidst rumours linking him with several of the biggest clubs on the continent, per Maddock.
Those negotiations are set to end, though:
Brendan Rodgers has agreed a new Liverpool contract—and could put pen to paper before the end of the week.
It is understood the Northern Irishman has shaken hands on a four-season extension to his current £2.5 million-a year contract, which will also net him an attractive pay rise and make him one of the highest-earning managers in the Premier League.
Under Rodgers, Liverpool have made a swift return to the top of the Premier League table. Working with a young squad and a relatively small transfer budget, the Reds are about to finish the season with an automatic berth into the UEFA Champions League. No one could have foreseen that just 12 months ago.
His impact on the club's recent success cannot be understated, and as shared by the Liverpool Echo's James Pearce, the club understands this well:
Brendan Rodgers receives the outstanding achievement award from Ian Ayre.— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) May 6, 2014
Via ESPN FC's Mike Whalley, managing director Ian Ayre spoke very highly of his manager at the club's end-of-season awards ceremony while also hinting at the Reds' desire to see Rodgers remain at the club:
For those of us who are fortunate enough to work closely with Brendan, I can tell you that his dedication and commitment to this team and this club are fantastic.
I'd say it's hard enough to find a good manager to run a top club in football these days.
But to find one who's not only a great man, but also understands this club and what it stands for, and what is special about it, is truly a unique find—so we'll all look forward to working with him for many years, we hope.
Star forwards Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez (who completed a hat-trick of awards by being voted Player of the Season by Reds fans, via the Mirror's Joe Mewis) are already signed to long-term deals, and per Maddock, Steven Gerrard, Raheem Sterling, Jon Flanagan and others will be next in line.
The club's sudden inclination to push through numerous deals at once isn't surprising, as Ayre and company look to keep the forward momentum of the 2013-14 campaign going.
Signing Rodgers to a long-term deal is the first step in a summer that will promise both stability and progress to the Reds' biggest talents, and with Champions League football on the horizon, the road to glory seems to be running in a straight line for the club right now.
By locking up youngsters like Sterling and Flanagan and re-signing club legend Gerrard before the madness of the summer transfer window begins, Liverpool look to avoid creating extra needs going into the 2014-15 season.
The Mirror's David Anderson claims Rodgers will be given £60 million to spend in this year's summer transfer window, with much of the focus being on the club's maligned back line:
Rodgers will be given £60 million to spend this summer and he wants at least one new centre-half and a left-back.
He remains interested in Schalke's Greek international defender Kyriakos Papadopoulos and is tracking Cardiff's Steven Caulker, whom he had on loan while manager at Swansea.
With at least two defensive players set to arrive at the club, Rodgers and Liverpool can't afford to lose any part of the foundation that has led the team to their best Premier League season in recent memory.
Showing the players the club are taking their long-term vision very seriously by signing Rodgers to a new deal is the first and most important step the Reds management will take this summer.
Expect a steady stream of contract renewals to follow once this deal is done, as Liverpool look to work primarily with the same lead characters on their way to a repeat performance of the past season.