LIVERPOOL, July 20, 2010 (AFP) - Steven Gerrard has hinted he will stay at Liverpool after the Reds captain revealed he was delighted by the club's capture of England midfielder Joe Cole.
Gerrard had been linked with a move to Real Madrid after Liverpool endured a dismal campaign last season, finishing seventh in the Premier League and failing to advance past the Champions League group stage.
It is four years since Liverpool won a trophy and it was suggested Gerrard was keen to move to a team who were regularly in the hunt for silverware.
Even the appointment of new manager Roy Hodgson was not expected to convince him to reject Real boss Jose Mourinho, who twice tried to sign Gerrard when he was in charge at Chelsea.
But the England international has held talks with Hodgson, who replaced Spaniard Rafael Benitez at Anfield, and he is impressed with the former Fulham manager's plans, as well as the move to sign Cole from Chelsea on a 90,000 pounds-a-week, four-year contract.
"I made it clear that I simply needed to concentrate on the World Cup and then have a decent holiday with my family," Gerrard told Liverpool's website.
"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 just returned to training at Melwood with some of the other World Cup players, but I can't wait for the new season to start."
Although many pundits claimed Hodgson would never get the chance to work with Gerrard, it appears the ex-Inter Milan coach will now be able to plan for next season with the Liverpool-born star still in his squad.
Hodgson hopes the news, coming so soon after Cole's signing, will go some way to lifting morale in the dressing room and the stands at Anfield.
"It's a great piece of news. There won't be anyone in Liverpool who isn't delighted to hear that," Hodgson said.
"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."
Hodgson had revealed Gerrard played a key role in the Cole signing after talking to the midfielder about the positives of playing for Liverpool during their time together at the World Cup in South Africa.
And Gerrard, 30, can't wait to line-up alongside his England team-mate at the start of the new Premier League season.
"It's a great signing for us" he added. "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."