Saturday 24 March 2018

Gerrard confirms Anfield return in MLS off-season

Steven Gerrard with his children after the game yesterday
Steven Gerrard with his children after the game yesterday

Jason Burt

Steven Gerrard has confirmed he will return to train with Liverpool once the MLS season is over in the US - and that he has already turned down offers from other Premier League clubs to play for them on loan.

The Liverpool captain played his final game at Anfield on an emotion-charged evening last night, as his side lost 3-1 to Crystal Palace in his penultimate game for the club he first joined aged just eight.

Gerrard will bring to a close his glorious 17-year career as a Liverpool player in next Sunday's final league fixture away to Stoke City, before joining LA Galaxy on an 18-month deal.

However, the midfielder - who turns 35 the following week - revealed that he had already accepted an offer to return to Liverpool to train and shadow manager Brendan Rodgers. But he added that he would not resume his playing career at the club.

"I have been invited to come back and spend time here and join in with the lads in training, which is a fantastic gesture from the club," Gerrard said.

"So I will certainly be around in those winter months and I will be doing some media work as well and enjoy some time off."

Asked whether he had received approaches from other Premier League clubs inquiring whether he would sign for them in the January window, Gerrard added: "They are already trying."

However, he not only ruled out playing for another club but also featuring again for Liverpool. The game away to Stoke will be his 709th and last appearance.

"It's a very difficult one," Gerrard said ahead of yesterday's game. "I am going to be saying goodbye on Saturday to the supporters and a lot of people at the club I will stay in touch with and have had long-term relationships with, but once you have said goodbye it will be very difficult to come back and play again."

However, Gerrard does harbour the ambition of one day managing Liverpool but only, he said, if he is good enough.

"If I'm in a position that I feel I am good enough and can contribute and help this club and do a good job as a manager and the role is offered to me, I would consider it really, really seriously," he added.

"If in five or 10 years' time I get offered it and I don't feel I am good enough, and there is a danger of ruining my reputation or showing myself up, I won't go near it. This is a brutal club to get it wrong at. You see what happened, for example with (former manager) Roy Hodgson. He never got enough time in a short space of time, and he was out. You have got to be ready for it. You have to have the right backing."

Gerrard also revealed he had had long conversations with David Beckham about whether he should join LA Galaxy.

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