Mohamed Sissoko has signed a new contract with Liverpool that will tie him to the Reds until 2011, and immediately vowed to fight to regain his first-team place at Anfield.
Sissoko is the latest Liverpool player to commit his future to the club, ending speculation that he would leave this summer, with Juventus having been reportedly interested in the 22-year-old Mali midfielder.
He joins captain Steven Gerrard, Jamie Carragher, Xabi Alonso and Jose Reina in signing long-term deals with the Reds this summer.
Sissoko joined Liverpool from Valencia in summer 2005, and some pundits feel he has been the club’s most improved player under manager Rafael Benitez.
However, he has suffered more than one serious injury while at Anfield, and lost his place as the team’s holding midfielder when Javier Mascherano arrived from West Ham last January.
But after penning his new contract, Sissoko told the club’s official website, www.liverpoolfc.tv: “I feel fresh and can’t wait for the new season to start.
“I am injury-free and, although I know I’ll face a battle for a place in the team as we have so many great midfielders, I’m prepared to fight for a position.
“It obviously gave me a huge boost to my confidence that the manager believes in me and wanted me to stay at the club. Now I want to repay him on the pitch.”
Sissoko added that he never contemplated leaving Merseyside.
“It was never in my thoughts to leave Liverpool,” he said.
“I read about the speculation linking me with other clubs but I am already at a big, big club and it’s an honour for me to be able to call myself a Liverpool player.”