Rafa Benítez agrees new Liverpool deal

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Liverpool manager Rafa Benítez has finally ended speculation about his future by signing a new £20 million deal that will keep him at Anfield until 2014.

The Spaniard's previous deal was due to expire at the end of the season and talks over an extension had stalled for nearly two months, raising doubts over his long-term future.

He had knocked back earlier drafts as he wanted a greater control in transfers and a bigger hand in the academy.

Another stumbling block in the trans-Atlantic negotiations had been chief executive Rick Parry — the man Benítez blamed for their failure to sign Aston Villa skipper Gareth Barry.

And it is no surprise that the former Valencia boss has finally put pen to paper within a couple of weeks of Parry's announcement that he would be leaving the club at the end of the season.

"My heart is with Liverpool Football Club," Benítez told the club's official website. "I’m delighted to sign this new deal.

"I love the club, the fans and the city and with a club like this and supporters like this, I could never say no to staying.

"I always made it clear I wanted to be here for a long time and when I complete my new contract it will mean I have spent over a decade in Liverpool.

"The club is greatly respected around the world due to its incredible history and tremendous heritage. It is my aim to uphold those values and help create a new chapter in our history."

He added: "Throughout this process, I would like to thank the owners for their hard work in finalising the deal.

"All of us at the club want the same thing, which is to be successful by winning major trophies."

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