Jon Flanagan close to new contract with Liverpool

Liverpool defender Jon Flanagan says he is close to signing a new contract.

The 21-year-old, whose current deal expires next summer, has missed his side's opening two Premier League matches with a knee injury sustained in preseason.

He is also set to miss Sunday's match at Tottenham, with the home match against Aston Villa on Sept. 13, his likely comeback date.

The injury has been a source of frustration for the full-back, who became a regular in the side over the second half of last season as Liverpool finished second in the Premier League.

But Flanagan, who grew up near Liverpool's home ground of Anfield, hopes to secure his long-term future soon.

"There have been some talks and I should be signing a new contract soon," Flanagan told the Liverpool Echo. "It would be reward for all the hard work I've put in. It would be great for me and great for my family as well.

"All I've ever wanted is to play for Liverpool and I want to stay here for as long as I possibly can."

Flanagan's natural position is right-back, although he filled in for much of last season at left-back as Jose Enrique struggled with a long-term knee injury and loan signing Aly Cissokho -- brought in from Valencia, but now at Aston Villa -- failed to make an impact.

The Liverpudlian faces added competition in both positions this season after manager Brendan Rodgers strengthened his squad in the transfer market. Rodgers brought in right-back Javi Manquillo from Atletico Madrid on a two-year loan deal, and left-back Alberto Moreno from Sevilla for an initial fee of 12 million pounds.

"A massive club like Liverpool are always going to sign top players," said Flanagan. "Moreno and Manquillo play in my position, but that will just make me work harder. Having good players around you pushes you on.

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"I hope I'll get back in the team. Things went well for me last season and I want to build on that."

Given the added competition for places, Flanagan could have done without the knee injury sustained during Liverpool's preseason tour of the United States.

"I've been struggling with fluid in my left knee," he said. "I just felt it during the tour and it's been a bit inflamed. It's just something we have to be careful with.

"I want to be back out there but I can't rush it. I need to make sure that when I do come back I'm 100 percent.

"I don't think I'll be back for this weekend but I'm hoping to be fit for the Villa game. The next couple of weeks should give me the chance to get back into full training and build up my fitness."