London (AFP) – Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has revealed he snubbed interest from Tottenham to join LA Galaxy because he couldn’t stand the thought of playing against his old club.
Gerrard knew he was coming towards the end of his Liverpool career last season, and several top teams, including Tottenham, expressed interest in signing him. But the ex-England midfielder was determined to avoid playing against Liverpool, the team he supported as a boy and the only professional club he had played for in his entire career. Instead, Gerrard opted to leave the Premier League and head to Los Angeles, having also turned down big money from Qatar plus approaches from French, Spanish and Turkish sides.
Writing in his autobiography, Gerrard said:
“The first offer came from Besiktas, then managed by Slaven Bilic. Monaco were next. They came in strong.
“Paris Saint-Germain were also very keen. David Moyes called my agent a couple of times, to see whether I would be interested in playing for him at Real Sociedad.
“A few English clubs called but I wouldn’t play against Liverpool. There was interest from Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino. It was good to know he still rated me.
“I was sure I could play in the Premier League for another year but there would not have been much of a buzz doing the same thing all over again with Tottenham.”
In the book, being serialized by the Daily Mail, Gerrard suggests “a perfect scenario” would have seen him offered a one-year contract at Liverpool that could have seen him split playing and coaching duties. But when it came to negotiating a possible new deal, with a 40 per cent pay cut and performance-incentive bonuses, he said, “It was pretty much a case of ‘this is the offer’. It seemed as if I wanted them more than they wanted me.”
Gerrard said he accepted less money in Los Angeles than Liverpool were prepared to put on the table because he sensed the quality of life would fit his family’s needs.
“It’s also why I turned down a 13.5 million euros (around £10 million) net deal to play in Qatar for two years,” he said.
“That would have been more than I’d ever earned, but Qatar wasn’t the right place for me and my family.”
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