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Captain Gerrard: I'm happy at Liverpool

Steven Gerrard has given the clearest indication yet that he will be staying at Liverpool.
Steven Gerrard has given the clearest indication yet that he will be staying at Liverpool.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard says he is happy to stay at the club
  • Gerrard has been linked with a move to Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid
  • The 30-year-old was England captain during the recent World Cup
  • Gerrard says he is pleased with Liverpool's capture of Joe Cole

(CNN) -- Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard says he is happy to stay with the English Premier League side after reported interest from Spanish giants Real Madrid.

Gerrard's future was the subject of much speculation after Liverpool finished seventh last season and failed to qualify for the lucrative European Champions League.

The 30-year-old delayed any decision until after the World Cup, where he captained England to a disappointing second round exit at the hands of Germany.

He was linked with a move to Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid but he has underlined his commitment to Liverpool after a private meeting with manager Roy Hodgson, who took over from Rafael Benitez earlier this month.

Gerrard told Liverpool's official website: "I made it clear that I simply needed to concentrate on the World Cup and then have a decent holiday with my family.

"I wanted the chance to meet Roy Hodgson privately and having done so I'm very impressed with his plans for the future of the team.

"I've only returned to training on Tuesday with some of the other World Cup players, but I can't wait for the new season to start."

I'm very impressed with [manager Roy Hodgson's] plans for the future of the team.
--Steven Gerrard
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Gerrard's declaration -- just a day after Liverpool announced the capture of England international Joe Cole -- was welcomed by Hodgson, who is also hoping to persuade Spain striker Fernando Torres to remain at the club.

"It's a great piece of news," Hodgson said. "There won't be anyone in Liverpool who isn't delighted to hear that. I'm really pleased about it because I've got great respect for Steven Gerrard.

"He's a player who I was really looking forward to working with when I came to Liverpool. It seems now with that commitment that this will happen.

"It gives everyone a boost without question. It will be a tough season, with a lot of matches and the disappointment of last season is going to take a while to dissipate, but it is very good that our best player is still going to be playing at this club.

"Hopefully with the signing of Joe Cole -- and if we are lucky one or two others, to boost the squad -- we will be going into this season's competition, maybe stronger on paper than we were last season."

Gerrard said Cole was a "great signing" for the club. "I know Joe well through the England set-up and have seen first hand just how good a player he is.

"He's proved his ability over many years in the Premier League, sometimes against us - so it will be fantastic to play alongside him in a red shirt for Liverpool.

"I've told him what a great club this is and I'm sure Joe's the sort of exciting talent our fans will love to see."