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The Brazil midfielder is delighted that the Reds have tied 'the best player in the league' down to a new four-and-a-half-year contract.

Lucas Leiva believes Liverpool has shown it means business by persuading much-coveted striker Luis Suarez to commit his future to the club until 2018.

The Uruguay international, who has hit 19 goals in just 12 Premier League outings this season, had looked destined to leave Anfield in the summer after stating his desire to play Champions League football.

However, Liverpool stood firm, and the former Ajax man performed a dramatic U-turn Friday by putting pen to paper on a lucrative long-term deal.

"What he is doing this season and what he has done in the past few seasons he deserved that (his new contract). We can see he is really comfortable playing here," Lucas told LFC TV. "It (the new deal) is a positive message because the owners (Fenway Sports Group) and manager (Brendan Rodgers) said they want to keep their best players and at the moment he is not only our best player but the best player in the league.

"Hopefully he will maintain this form for a long time for the club."

Liverpool will stay top of the table if Arsenal fails to beat Chelsea on Monday night.

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