Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Steven Gerrard could retire at the end of this season

Steven Gerrard could retire at the end of this season

Steven Gerrard is considering ending his playing career at the end of the season

The Liverpool skipper is giving serious thought to calling it a day.

The 34-year-old has been offered a new two-year deal, with his current Liverpool contract expiring in the summer.

That offer is understood to include a reduction on his current £140,000-a-week terms and boss Brendan Rodgers insisted yesterday there is no rush for Gerrard to make up his mind.

But the former England captain is understood to have serious concerns about his own fitness and form this season.

An immensely proud man, Gerrard does not want his brilliant career to fizzle out although publicly he has insisted he will not be retiring.

But behind the scenes Gerrard’s concerns about his future have been a major talking point at both Anfield and Liverpool’s Melwood training ground.

Rodgers conceded he expects Gerrard’s decision to be based on whether he can maintain his high standards on the pitch rather than cash.

“One thing I know absolutely, is that it’s not about money,” Rodgers said. “It’s about the time in his career – where he’s at in terms of playing.

“For everything he has done here over 16 years he deserves the respect and time to consider that. But it’s categorical that I want him to be here, I’d love him to be here.”

It could be that Gerrard, with Liverpool having had a difficult start to the season, is simply going through a period of soul searching.

Last season was tough, with Gerrard well aware he unwittingly played a major part in Liverpool failing to win their first title in 24 years, thanks to his infamous slip in the 2-0 home defeat to Chelsea.

While money may not be an issue for Gerrard, lucrative offers to play in the MLS are already being prepared in America.

He has also made no secret of his interest in coaching and has started work on getting his qualifications.

Rodgers made it clear yesterday that Gerrard would be offered a coaching role at Anfield when he retires from playing.

Alternatively, after an entire career spent with Liverpool and almost 600 games for club and country, Gerrard could opt to take a break from the game to spend more time with his wife Alex Curran and their children Lilly-Ella, Lexie and Lourdes.

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