Luis Suarez signs new deal to stay at Liverpool until 2018

Uruguayan delivers surprise Christmas present by agreeing to contract extension

LAST UPDATED AT 14:07 ON Fri 20 Dec 2013

LUIS SUAREZ has signed a new long-term contract with Liverpool, days after it was reported that the Anfield club had opened negotiations over a deal worth £200,000-a-week.

Suarez, one of the most controversial figures in the Premier League, spent much of the summer agitating for a move away from Merseyside, but now appears to have committed to the club.

"I believe I can achieve the ambitions of winning trophies and playing at the very highest level with Liverpool," he told the official Liverpool website after the news was announced. "My aim is to help get us there as quickly as possible."

The Uruguayan also praised the Reds support, despite alienating many of them by picking up a ten match ban for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic last season, and then attempting to leave the club. Although he remains a divisive figure, his scintillating form this season has won over many of the sceptics and it seems the feeling is mutual.

"Without doubt the backing I have received from the Liverpool fans has influenced my decision," he said. "I am so proud to represent them and go out to do my best for them every time I pull on the shirt."

The new deal runs until 2018 reports The Guardian. "His current contract, which was due to expire in two and half years, pays him £120,000 a week, but under the terms of the new four-and-a-half year deal that will rise to £170,000 a week for this season, and then £200,000 per week for the remainder of the contract," it explains.

News of the deal was hailed as a perfect Christmas present for the club, which had played down reports that a deal would be struck this month, even though it emerged that chairman Ian Ayre was in talks with the player's agent Pere Guardiola.

Things could get even better for the Reds if they can beat Cardiff at Anfield tomorrow, as they will go top of the table. · 

For further concise, balanced comment and analysis on the week's news, try The Week magazine. Subscribe today and get 6 issues completely free.