Carra boost for Reds

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Liverpool are due to receive another timely boost as Jamie Carragher is to sign a new long-term contract before the end of the week.

With Reds fans still jubilant over Steven Gerrard's decision to stay at Anfield, Carragher is to pledge his long-term future to the European Cup winners.

Carragher was one of the most improved players in The Premiership last season, and his wholehearted defensive displays also played their own part in Liverpool's fifth European Cup success.

Chief executive Rick Parry says he expects Carragher to sign his new deal before the end of the week, which could come on the same day as Gerrard is expected to sign on Friday.

"It's been a busy summer so far but we're happy with what we're doing," Parry told the club's website.

"We've been talking with Jamie Carragher and we expect the contract to be signed before the end of the week.

"He was outstanding for us last season and is clearly a big part of our plans."

Parry also confirmed that Didi Hamann has signed his new one-year contract, with the option of another, while Djimi Traore has penned a contract extension until 2009.

"Didi has signed his contract, we signed Djimi Traore yesterday and of course we've already made a number of new signings since the end of last season."

With Rafa Benitez's squad returning to competitive action next Wednesday as they start the defence of their European crown, the news is a timely boost.

Benitez's squad is now starting to take shape and Carragher and Gerrard both signing new deals on Friday should provide a huge morale boost before their busy season kicks-off.

Title: Chelsea 4/5 Arsenal 11/4 Man Utd 10/3 Liverpool 16/1 Everton 150/1 - Click here for full odds with Sky Bet