Liverpool to reward Gerrard with new contract
A new contract for Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard is a formality now his international career is over, according to his manager Brendan Rodgers.
Having called time on England in part due to his ongoing commitment to his club, Gerrard will be awarded a one-year extension to his current Liverpool deal.
The 34-year-old has 11 months left on his existing deal but both he and the club anticipate a swift negotiation process ahead of the new season.
“A lot has gone on at the club over the course of the summer,” said Rodgers.
“I'm very happy that Steven Gerrard is now going to commit to Liverpool and I am sure that [his contract] is something that we will look at.
"He is in real good condition and I’m sure it's something that will happen at some point.
“I know that he can continue to play on beyond this season. I have always said that.
"Now he doesn’t have international football, he will have that freshness. I think it is something that will be looked at by the club.”
Gerrard said on retiring for England he was thinking about the “bigger picture of the next two, three, four years” and there is no doubt he is anticipating spending the entirety of his career at Anfield.
Liverpool have already stated on record they want Gerrard to stay with the club until he retires, and then remain part of the staff beyond that.
He already has an ambassadorial role guaranteed as part of his existing deal.
“Listen, for his own mind, I’m sure he will want it sorted out, absolutely,” said Rodgers.
“You never want to leave players with not too long to go on their contract. It is something I am sure will get sorted.”
Rodgers, meanwhile, expects Phillipe Coutinho to become part of the rebuilding of the Brazil squad after his omission from the World Cup.
Coutinho – shining in Liverpool’s pre-season fixtures so far – was unable to impress Luiz Felipe Scolari to play in his home country, but Rodgers is certain new manager Dunga will take a different view.
“He was disappointed but not overly disappointed because he was never really involved, only in one squad,” said Rodgers.
“Scolari went with different players. But I am sure over the course of the next four years a team will be built and he [Coutinho] will be coming into the peak of his career.
"I suspect the form that he has shown since he has been with us will get him into a new Brazil squad.
“He is a star and people love watching him play. He is never going to be prolific like Luis or other strikers.
He is more like a Modric type – he is the brain behind the team and gets them moving and playing. But you don’t have to score goals to be an exciting player and he has shown that in the season and a half he has been with us. Scoring is a part of his game that we want to improve but at 22 years of age he has got a lot of improvement to make.
"The longer he is with us and understanding our way of working, that learning will continue.
“You are looking for your wingers to get around seven goals. If they get between five and seven, it is a good return.
"For him and his quality, with the areas that he gets in to, you are probably looking for a little bit more. I won’t put him under any pressure to do that. I want to help him so he can give me his best.
"He has got the quality to score. He needs the freedom to move and he has got good mobility. His best position is playing in behind so he can thread people through. It’s about finding a position and system so he can help the team play. He is adaptable.”
Rodgers expects Adam Lallana to make his Liverpool debut against Olympiakos in Chicago this weekend.
Liverpool will continue their tour of the US against the Greek side after opening with a 1-0 defeat to Roma at Boston’s Fenway Park on Wednesday, but there will be significant reinforcements for the remaining fixtures.
As well as Lallana, Gerrard, Daniel Sturridge, Glen Johnson and new signing Lazar Markovic are likely to feature having missed the loss to the Italians.
“They only began training on Monday so it was too much of risk on Wednesday night,” said Rodgers.
“I put Jordan [Henderson] for the last 15 minutes because he is so fit he could play 10 games. For all the other players they will be involved in Chicago.
“They will have had a good week’s training and will be ready.”
Liverpool are still waiting to complete Loic Remy’s medical, although the French striker is with the squad in Boston.
Belgian striker Divock Origi has arrived in United States to undergo his medical and confirm his £10 million signing, although he will remain at Lille for a season.