Steven Gerrard: Brendan Rodgers admits Liverpool 'never offered Gerrard any coaching role'

Liverpool manager says captain wants to keep playing and insists departure is not down to disappointment

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The Independent Football

Liverpool made no attempt to keep Steven Gerrard at Anfield by offering him a coaching role at the club, while his manager, Brendan Rodgers, denied on Saturday that the club captain’s decision to leave had been prompted by a disastrous climax to a dire year in 2014.

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Within the space of a few months Gerrard saw a wildly romantic bid for a first Premier League title disintegrate, led England to their worst-ever World Cup performance, and Liverpool’s return to the Champions League fell flat. When he resigned the England captaincy and retired from international duty after the squad’s return from Brazil, Gerrard, 34, had spoken of spending another two or three years at Liverpool.

However, Rodgers, speaking for the first time since Gerrard announced his decision to reject a new contract – and on the day he confirmed he would finish his playing career in Major League Soccer in the United States – said that those disappointments had little to do with what Gerrard had called “the hardest decision of my life”.

 

Rodgers said: “I can only talk about the conversations I’ve had with Steven, and he has never felt unhappy. I have not been party to whatever has gone on between the club and his agents but I still wanted Steven to be a party to what I was doing at the club.

“But it went on and on and nothing was agreed, and the closer you get to January, a player who is in the last year of his contract is not going to rush into things because he can speak to other clubs. Any player would do that. It gave Steven more thinking time.”

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Steven Gerrard and Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool only offered him a new one-year contract in November, and neither the club nor Gerrard had any enthusiasm for him joining Rodgers’s coaching staff in the summer. “Steven had an ambassadorial role at the club but there wasn’t a coaching offer made to him,” said Rodgers. “Steven hasn’t got his badges and he is not the sort who would go into coaching blind. His focus was very much on the present, which means playing, because he believes he can play on beyond this season.”

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