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Over-used Mertesacker in need of rest

Arsenal
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Carragher retirement confirmed

Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has confirmed he will retire at the end of the season to become a TV pundit – ending manager Brendan Rodgers' hopes of persuading him to play on.

Carragher, who has played 734 games for his club during a 16-year first-team career at Anfield, will join Sky Sports in August.

The 35-year-old, second only to Ian Callaghan on Liverpool's all-time appearance list, originally announced his retirement in February, but Rodgers said two weeks ago that he planned to hold talks with his vice-captain to try to convince him to play on for another season.

The centre-back considered retirement last summer, and one of Rodgers' first tasks upon replacing Kenny Dalglish as manager last June was to persuade him to continue for one more year.

Carragher was used sparingly during the first half of the season, making only one Premier League start before Christmas as the manager preferred Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger as his first-choice central defensive partnership.

However, the former England international has become a regular, ahead of Skrtel, since the turn of the year, winning regular praise from Rodgers for his performances.

"I don't think there could be a better move for me," Carragher said of his move to Sky. "Until that time comes, I'll remain fully focused on my remaining playing career with Liverpool and I'm looking forward to ending the season with good results."

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