AP: Secret Talks Decided Gerrard’s Future

The following report was posted today by Paul Walker of PA Sport.

Stevie and Rafa at the AirportSteven Gerrard’s advisors held secret talks with Liverpool over his new contract while the club were preparing for their historic Champions League triumph in Istanbul.

Gerrard’s agent Straun Marshall held meetings with Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry to pave the way to the Liverpool captain signing a new deal which could be worth as much as £5million a year.

Those talks were the reason Gerrard was so positive in the after-match press conference when he told the world he could not see himself leaving the club after they had stunned Europe by beating AC Milan in a penalty shoot-out in a hysterical Ataturk Stadium last night.

The outcome of those talks were productive and it is now expected Gerrard and Marshall will meet Parry in the next week to formulate the deal which would see the England midfielder sign a two-year extension to his current deal, which still has two years to run.

That contract could be worth as much as £100,000 a week – which would see Gerrard pick up £20million if he stays the full course of the deal.

The wages would put him very much in line with the money Chelsea’s top stars earn, the club who have constantly been linked with Gerrard since the end of Euro 2004.

Chelsea are believed to have let it be known he would earn £120,000 a week if he moved to Stamford Bridge but the lure of staying with his home town club and playing for the European champions has finally swung Gerrard into staying at Anfield.

Liverpool returned to Merseyside this evening and several thousand fans were there to meet them at Liverpool John Lennon airport ahead of a city tour with the triumphant players showing of the club’s fifth European Cup to their adoring fans.

Harry Kewell, a first-half injury victim in Turkey, will have an operation in the next 48 hours to repair thigh and groin muscle injuries while Steve Finnan – who also damaged a thigh in the final – will have a scan on Friday and expects to be having treatment for a month.