Steven Gerrard announces move to United States
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard revealed on Saturday that he will join an as-yet unnamed team in the United States when he leaves Anfield at the end of the season.
London: Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard revealed on Saturday that he will join an as-yet unnamed team in the United States when he leaves Anfield at the end of the season.
Gerrard, 34, announced on Friday that he has decided to leave Liverpool after a 25-year association with the club that has seen him make 695 appearances and score 180 goals.
"I`ll be going to play in America," he told Liverpool`s in-house television channel, LFC TV. "But I`m not over the line with any team just yet. I`m close and as soon as I know, I`ll make the announcement."
Media reports in Britain suggest that Gerrard will follow in the footsteps of former England colleague David Beckham by joining the Los Angeles Galaxy, where he would be reunited with onetime Liverpool team-mate Robbie Keane.
Stateside, ESPN.com cited an unnamed source in reporting that Gerrard will join the Galaxy on an 18-month contract, on a pro-rated deal worth $6 million per year, a report the club would not confirm.
"We don`t comment on players who are not signed by the LA Galaxy," team spokesman Brendan Hannan told AFP on Saturday.
Gerrard said he had been through an "emotional" 24 hours since announcing the news that he was leaving, but kept the door open on a return to Liverpool at some point in the future.
"People will have their own opinions on it, but for me I think come the summer, it will be the right time to move on and try something different -- come out of the club and the city and have a look in for a short while and hopefully have the opportunity to return," he said.
"The last game and the last couple of training sessions are going to be torture, because it`s so tough to say `goodbye`. But hopefully it`s more of a `see you soon` rather than a `goodbye`."
Gerrard said that the reality of his decision had hit home when he informed his three daughters "their dad wasn`t going to play for Liverpool anymore", saying it "hit them pretty hard".
But he vowed to do everything in his power to go out on a high.
"I`m focused now and I told the manager a couple of days ago when we had a chat that he`s got no worries about me downing tools," he said.
"I`ll be here until the end and I`ll keep fighting until the final ball I kick. I`d love nothing better than to try to win a trophy and leave the team in the top four."Gerrard memorably led Liverpool to glory in the 2005 Champions League final against AC Milan, when he inspired his team to come back from 3-0 down and win on penalties in Istanbul.
He has also won two FA Cups, three League Cups and the UEFA Cup, but has never lifted the Premier League trophy, famously slipping in a match against Chelsea last season to hand Manchester City the initiative in the title race.
The midfielder spoke warmly about Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, who joined the club in 2012, and suggested he might have got his hands on the league title had the Northern Irishman arrived sooner.
"I wish I`d met Brendan when I was 24 because I think I`d be sitting here talking about a lot of titles that we`d won together," he said.
"The reality is, Brendan came into this club when I was 32 years of age and it`s a shame that relationship didn`t start 10 years ago."
Meanwhile, Rodgers rejected a suggestion by Gerrard`s former team-mate Jamie Carragher that the club could have done more to prevent the former England captain from leaving.
Liverpool`s owners, Fenway Sports Group, have already given Gerrard an invitation to return to the club in as-yet unspecified capacity, and Rodgers said that he was not interested in staying on as a coach.
"Of course I want him to stay, but his role is slightly different and naturally at this level it was going to be tapered a bit. He wasn`t ready to move into coaching yet," Rodgers told a press conference.
"He still sees himself very much as a player, but when that time comes and he retires, that is maybe something we can look at then as he is someone who would be brilliant to have as part of the staff here."