Kolo Toure has confirmed his intention to stay and fight for his place in the Liverpool first-team next season after revealing that talks over a new Anfield contract are ongoing and should be resolved shortly.
The veteran defender had been heavily linked with a Bosman free transfer departure at the end of the season upon the expiry of his current £75,000-a-week deal. However, it now looks as though the 34-year-old could still be part of Brendan Rodgers' squad in 2015/16.
Toure is hopeful he can agree fresh terms with the Merseyside outfit in order to extend his two-year stay with the Reds, but might be forced to take a pay-cut in order to do so.
The former Arsenal and Manchester City man made 21 appearances in all competitions this season and is viewed as a player whose experience can benefit the next generation of Liverpool defenders looking to make the grade.
Rodgers will certainly be on the lookout for central defensive reinforcements again after Dejan Lovren underwhelmed following his £20 million transfer from Southampton.
Fellow summer signing Emre Can was also deployed out of position as part of a three-man back three for much of the 2014/15 campaign, so a new centre-back will be high on the Reds agenda for the summer transfer window irrespective of whether or not Toure pens a new deal.
"I think the situation will be resolved soon," the Ivory Coast international is quoted saying by Goal.com. "We are talking. There are few things more but we will see.
"Liverpool is a great club for me to stay at. Liverpool is going to be massive.
"I love Premier League football and I played all my years here and if I can finish here [at Liverpool] it would be great.
"I play for Liverpool right now and I am very happy and if it was to carry on, I'd be more than happy."
It's unclear how well news of Toure's prospective renewal will be received by Liverpool supporters hoping for huge improvements to the squad that under-performed for such a large portion of this season, which resulted in a disappointing sixth place finish in the Premier League.
After last year's heroics inspired by Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge saw the Reds finish second and run Manchester City all the way in the title race, the past 12 months have been entirely underwhelming.
Fans' disappointment was compounded by Sunday's shocking 6-1 defeat against Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium - a result which condemned them to their heaviest loss in 52 years - and left some sections of the media questioning whether or not Rodgers would still be in charge next season.
Toure played 45 minutes of that season-ender in Staffordshire after replacing Can at the interval following his abysmal first-half display.
Liverpool fans: Would you like to see Kolo Toure sign a new one-year contract at Anfield? Or is it time for the veteran defender to be moved on? Have your say in the comment box below…
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