Football: Steven Gerrard says he would have stayed with Reds if contract came earlier

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has said he would have agreed to stay at the English Premier League club if he had been offered a new contract in the close season. -- PHOTO: AFP
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has said he would have agreed to stay at the English Premier League club if he had been offered a new contract in the close season. -- PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (Reuters) - Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has said he would have agreed to stay at the club if he had been offered a new contract in the close season.

The 34-year-old announced last week he would leave at the end of this season and move to Major League Soccer in the United States after spending his entire career at the Merseyside club.

Gerrard said at the weekend the turning point in his decision to depart came when manager Brendan Rodgers told him he could no longer play every game. He did not blame the club for effectively making up his mind to leave but said he was ready to commit his future to Liverpool in the summer after they finished as Premier League runners-up.

"If a contract had been put in front of me in pre-season I would have signed it," Gerrard was quoted as saying by the Liverpool Echo on Tuesday. "I'd just retired from England to concentrate all my efforts on Liverpool. I didn't want my club games to be tailored.

"My injury record had been fantastic for the past two and a half years and I had a great season from a personal point of view last season.

"It's all ifs, buts and hindsight now. That period between the summer and the end of November gave me thinking time. There's no blame and I'm not angry about it. There are other people in the squad and the club had other things to worry about. There is no finger pointing from me towards the manager or anyone else at the club."

Gerrard, who scored twice on Monday to help Liverpool beat AFC Wimbledon 2-1 and reach the FA Cup fourth round, is close to signing an 18-month deal with the Los Angeles Galaxy, according to media reports.