Luis Suarez insists he has signed a new long-term contract with Liverpool because he believes the team are heading to the top.
The 26-year-old Uruguay international has signed a deal believed to be worth £200,000 a week and although Liverpool did not specify the length of the contract it is understood it is an extension that will keep him at Anfield until 2018.
Suarez has been in stunning form since returning from a lengthy suspension for biting that kept him sidelined until October, since when he has raced away in the Premier League’s scoring charts to become arguably the most in-demand striker in world football.
The decision to sign a new deal follows a turbulent summer in which he suggested the club had reneged on an agreement to sell him if they failed to qualify for the Champions League.
Suarez told the club’s official website www.liverpoolfc.tv: “Without doubt the backing I have received from the Liverpool fans has influenced my decision. I am so proud to represent them and go out to do my best for them every time I pull on the shirt.
“We have some great players and the team is growing and improving all the time. I believe I can achieve the ambitions of winning trophies and playing at the very highest level with Liverpool. My aim is to help get us there as quickly as possible.”
Suarez’s spell at Anfield has often been a controversial one after being handed two long-term bans, one for racially abusing Manchester United’s Patrice Evra and last season for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic, but the club has stood by him through thick and thin.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers insisted Suarez had yet to reach his peak.
He said: “This is fantastic news for everyone associated with the club; the team, the owners and most importantly the supporters.
“Luis is a world-class talent and securing his services is crucial for what we are trying to achieve here.
“What’s most important and most exciting is that, at just 26 years old, his best years are still ahead of him and we now know we’ll be seeing him reach that potential in a Liverpool shirt.”
Liverpool had to fend off interest from Arsenal in the summer, who had a bid of £40,000,001 rejected, but their determination to keep Suarez has paid off with the Reds now second in the Premier League with the Uruguayan the leading scorer in the top flight with 17 goals, four ahead of his nearest rival Sergio Aguero of Manchester City.