• 'Liverpool have given me almost everything in my career'
• Dane says he is carrying thigh injury ahead of United game
Daniel Agger has spoken publicly for the first time about Barcelona's interest in him, saying he is flattered by it but that he is happy to remain at Liverpool, the club that "have given him everything". The newly appointed Liverpool vice-captain has been courted by the Catalans for two consecutive summers – as well as Manchester City a year ago – but is happy to remain at the club he joined seven years ago.
Asked about being courted the most famous club in the world, Agger said in an exclusive interview with Danish paper Jyllands-Posten: "Overall you have to think that it [Barcelona's interest] is a positive. It is a positive that someone likes what you are doing. When a club such as Barcelona think that then it is a boost and for that I am pleased. I am not going to deny that but that doesn't mean that anything [a move] happens.
"If a move doesn't happen that that's that. That's nothing I can dictate or decide. I have a contract with Liverpool for another three years and if they want to keep me, they will keep me."
Agger's comments will be welcomed by Liverpool after a summer in which Luis Suárez has agitated for a transfer despite having a long-term contract with the club. The Dane, who admits he does not know how close Liverpool and Barcelona came to agreeing a deal, also reiterated his affection for the club, saying: "Liverpool will always be the club that have given me almost everything in my career. When the time comes for me to leave, I want to have the same relationship that I have with Liverpool that I have now. "I have spent eight years here. That has an effect on you. And because of that I am never going to lose the relationship I have with Liverpool if I, for example leave in three years when my contract expires."
It is believed that Barcelona stopped their bidding at £13m, which was never going to be enough for Liverpool to let go of the defender, who signed a new deal at Anfield last summer. "Signing that contract was the right for me at that point of my life and my football career. Liverpool have given me the contract of my life. It is a fantastic contract and that, together with the fact that I have a good life here, is a very good combination."
The Dane, who also revealed that he has been carrying a thigh injury in recent weeks, added that he thinks Liverpool are ready to break into the top four again. "Getting in to the top four is our aim. It is the biggest tournament and we have missed for a few years now. We have missed those games and it would be a great target to achieve and if we get a few new players in then I think it is a realistic achievement. I say that considering the amount of points we have won this year and I think that shows that we are on the right way."