Benitez salutes Gerrard deal


LONDON, July 10 – Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez on Thursday saluted skipper Steven Gerrard's contract extension, claiming it would serve to bolster the team's renewed push for silverware.STEVEN_GERRARDGerrard agreed a deal to stay at Anfield until 2013 in April, completing the formalities after returning from his summer holiday to begin pre-season training.

Dirk Kuyt, Fernando Torres, Daniel Agger and Yossi Benayoun have also penned new deals.

"We have spent this summer trying to secure the players we have," said Benitez.

"It’s really good to keep Kuyt, Torres, Agger, Benayoun and Steven. They are the here and now of the club and for the future it is really good.

"We are really pleased. We have a lot of good players who want to stay, to win and compete.

"The message has to be the same again this year – to be there, to be contenders and to fight. If we can win trophies it would be fantastic."