Liverpool chief Rick Parry admits they were concerned about losing Xabi Alonso before securing him to a new contract last week.
In his column for liverpoolfc.tv, Parry wrote: "This is a very big contract for Xabi. He is 25 now and has committed himself to the club for another five years.
"This was a really important decision for him because it means he will now be playing at the peak of his career at Anfield. It's fantastic that he is staying because we have had a year of speculation regarding a possible return to Spain. There were reports a year ago linking him with Real Madrid and it's always unsettling when the newspapers continue to carry stories about a possible move."