London: Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard has said the main reason for quitting his boyhood club was the fear of becoming a bit-part player.
In a conversation with manager Brendan Rodgers, the Liverpool legend was informed that he would not start every game.
After 17 years of playing for the senior team, Gerrard Friday announced that he will join a Major League Soccer (MLS) club at the end of the season.
"The key conversation was when the manager sat me down and said it was time to manage my games. It was a very difficult conversation to have. I'm bright enough to realise it is the right thing. I accept it," the 34-year-old was quoted as saying in Liverpool's official website.
But the former England skipper had to deny rumours of a conflict with Rodgers after not featuring in the team that beat Stoke City in November - on the 16th anniversary of his debut for the club.
"When you've been a starter and a mainstay in the team for such a long time... I had an idea the conversation was going to come at some time, but it was a painful conversation," Gerrard said.
MLS club Los Angeles Galaxy have been linked with him where the likes of former England star David Beckham has played before.
"I'm not over the line with any team yet. I'm close and as soon as I know, I'll make the announcement," he said.
Gerrard said he had been blown away by the reaction to the news that he is to end his long association with Liverpool.
"I can't read much of the reaction at the moment. I keep switching the TV over. I didn't realise it would be as big as this. It's very flattering and I'm very humbled by it."