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Liverpool midfielder Vladimir Smicer has decided to sign an extension to his current contract after earlier hinting that he might quit Anfield if the club signed Lee Bowyer.

A deal had been on the table for some weeks but the Czech international was anxious over the possible signing of Lee Bowyer from Leeds.

Competition for places in the Anfield midfield is already tough, with the likes of Danny Murphy, Stephen Gerard and Dietmar Hamann. S

Smicer believed the addition of Bowyer would be “good for the club” but “not for me”. With the Bowyer deal collapsing, and after talks with boss Gerard Houllier, the Czech midfielder has agreed to the extension.

The deal will keep him on Merseyside until the summer of 2005.

Bowyer meanwhile is set to reject Leeds’ new offer of œ40,000-a-week, in the hope that he will force a cut-price deal away from Elland road. With only a year left on his contract the midfielder could walk away for nothing at the end of the season – a scenario that cash-strapped Leeds can ill-afford.

There has been interest from North London rivals Tottenham and Arsenal, with the Gunners prepared to offer Ray Parlour as part of a player-plus-cash deal. However, both are apprehensive about a player who for the last year has attracted more attention off the field than on it.

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