Addressing the media before taking his Liverpool side into Sunday's Premier League curtain call against Newcastle United, Brendan Rodgers talked of his proposed contract on Friday, as well as speculation linking his team with Southampton's Adam Lallana.
The Liverpool Echo's James Pearce and Tony Barrett of the The Times quoted Rodgers, who assured that his long-term future at Anfield will be sorted at the end of the season:
Rodgers: "I'm not sure where (contract) talk came from. I always said it would get done at the end of the season."— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) May 9, 2014
Brendan Rodgers confirms "the framework of a deal is in place" regarding his proposed new contract.— Tony Barrett (@TonyBarretTimes) May 9, 2014
Earlier on Friday, ESPN reported that Liverpool had already launched a £20 million bid to sign Lallana this summer. Rodgers was candid in his admiration of the player when quizzed on whether there was any truth to those stories:
Rodgers on Lallana: "Adam is a terrific young player.....there is always speculation."— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) May 9, 2014
From that, The Times' Oliver Kay deducts that there is indeed an impending bid, providing one hasn't been made already:
RT @JamesPearceEcho: Rodgers on Lallana: "Adam is a terrific young player....there is always speculation." ---> There's a bid on its way ...— Oliver Kay (@OliverKayTimes) May 9, 2014
The Reds are two points behind leaders Manchester City, who possess an advantage of 13 in goal difference heading into their final fixtures.
However, the Merseysiders' chief is adamant that Manuel Pellegrini's opponents West Ham can help Liverpool pull off an upset:
Rodgers: "We can only concentrate on our job and try to win the game. West Ham have some really talented players, they won 3-0 at Tottenham.— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) May 9, 2014
They've got the likes of Big Andy (Carroll), and they have a good defensive record, with something like 14 clean sheets this season. They are difficult to play against. The expectancy is, without disrespecting anyone, that Man City will win. But it certainly won't be easy for them, I'm sure.
West Ham will want to finish on a high, and they know they have the players that can cause problems.
Rodgers is keen to enforce the notion that his team, regardless of whether they end Sunday with a trophy in hand, have done a terrific job:
Rodgers: "However Sunday pans out, we've had a really successful season."— James Pearce (@JamesPearceEcho) May 9, 2014
It's true in that not many were tipping the Merseysiders to be vying for top spot in the Premier League, particularly not this late in the term when it seemed as though Chelsea, Manchester City and others had more reason to be so fortunate.
Rodgers speaks with the quiet confidence of a man who knows this Liverpool side is only getting better, and they might soon have Lallana to throw into the mix for next season.