Steven Gerrard expects his final days at Liverpool to be “torture” but hopes to be packing his bags for America this summer having helped the Reds win at least one more trophy.
Gerrard announced on Friday he will be calling time on his 17-year Anfield career at the end of the season and he confirmed on Saturday that his next destination will be the United States – although he has yet to finalize a deal with any club.
The 34-year-old also revealed in an interview with LFCTV that being told by Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers recently that his playing time with the Reds would start to be reduced helped make up his mind to move on.
Gerrard said: “There was more than one moment that has made me come to this decision, but I think the key conversation or moment was with the manager when he sat me down not so long ago and said it was time to manage my games for me and for the team.
“I’m bright enough to realize it is the right thing for everyone, but when you’ve been a starter and a mainstay in the team for such a long time, it was a very difficult conversation to have with the manager.
“I accept it and I’ll continue to give everything I’ve got.”
Gerrard added that he wished he could have started working with Rodgers 10 years previously.
After spending his whole career at his home-town club, Gerrard admits it is going to be tough to leave but he hopes to go out on a high by leading Liverpool to cup glory.
A first league winner’s medal looks beyond the former England captain with Liverpool currently 17 points adrift of leaders Chelsea and Manchester City, but the Reds are still involved in the FA Cup, Capital One Cup and Europa League.
Gerrard, whose side begin their FA Cup campaign at AFC Wimbledon on Monday night, said: “There’s still a bit to go and I’d love nothing better than to walk around Wembley or a big stadium at the end of the season with a trophy for them (the fans).
“We’ve still got a chance of finishing in the top four (in the league) and that’s the most important thing for the club, for obvious reasons. But from a selfish point of view, it’s always a trophy and it’s always medals, for me.”
Gerrard concedes he cannot anticipate exactly how he will feel as the final days tick down on his time at Liverpool but, after a glittering career that has seen him become arguably the club’s greatest ever player, he is sure it will not be easy.
He hopes, though, that it will not be a final farewell, with the long-serving midfielder open to the possibility of returning to the club in some capacity in the future.
“The last couple of weeks will be probably how the last 24 hours have been – very tough. But I’m really proud of what I’ve done and hopefully I can write a few more chapters with the team from now to the end,” he said.
“But 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’.”
He added about the chance of returning: “I’ll only come back and serve the club if I feel as if I can help.
“If I sit down with the people who are running the club at that time and they see a role for me where I can help the team or help young kids to become players, of course I will consider it.”
Gerrard was immediately linked with a move to Major League Soccer following Friday’s announcement that he was leaving Anfield, with the likes of LA Galaxy and New York Red Bulls touted as possible destinations.
The midfielder has now confirmed he will be heading across the Atlantic, but his next club remains as yet unknown.
He said: “I can tell the supporters at the moment that it will be America. I’ll be going to play in America. 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, I’ll do the bits and bobs that I need to do. Then we try to go and win a trophy and forget about Steven Gerrard for a bit.”
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