Coral’s five club alternatives for Reds skipper Steven Gerrard
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, 34, has made the amazing claim that he could be forced to leave his boyhood club next summer, if he is not offered a new contract.
The Reds have struggled this term after selling their star striker from last season, Luis Suarez, who helped them to second place in the Premier League. Brendan Rodgers’ men (5/4 for another top four finish, and 40/1 to win) are now down in seventh after nine games, and nine points behind leaders Chelsea.
“I can only worry about this season because I’m only contracted until May,” Gerrard said. “As it stands at the moment, I’m here until the end of the season and want to make the most of it. I certainly won’t be retiring this summer. I will play beyond this season.
“We will have to wait and see if that’s at Liverpool or somewhere else. That’s Liverpool’s decision. If they don’t come then I will see what’s out there.”
You can make of those quotes what you will, whether it is a bluff to get the Reds to speed up contact talks or not, but Coral’s football writers provide five club alternatives if Gerrard does decide to move on.
Napoli – 33/1
It is fair to say that Gerrard enjoyed his greatest moment in a Liverpool shirt under former boss Rafa Benitez. That famous Champions League comeback win in 2005 against AC Milan, inspired by the midfielder’s goal to make the score 3-1, is quite simply the greatest final you could wish to see.
Spaniard Benitez tried out spells with Inter Milan and Chelsea, but now seems settled back in Serie A with Napoli, where he won the Coppa Italia in his first season. There is no doubt he would welcome Gerrard into his midfield, that currently includes the likes of Marek Hamsik, Gokhan Inler and Jonathan de Guzman.
Napoli captain Hamsik has been linked with Liverpool in the past, and a skipper swap could be on the cards. Coral have a price of 20/1 for Gerrard to be playing in Serie A next season.
Monaco – 25/1
Ligue 1 is becoming a sought-after destination in recent years, since millions were ploughed into both Monaco and PSG. The Mediterranean side would be able to offer Gerrard a tempting wage, and all tax free, as the outfit are based in its own principality.
Monaco have started the season in similar vein to that of Liverpool, though, and currently lag eight points behind Ligue 1 leaders Marseille, in eighth place, after 11 matches.
Manchester City – 40/1
The Sky Blues signed Frank Lampard at the age of 36 temporarily, so why not snap up another former England great, who will be a year younger next summer?
With Lampard set to join up with his parent club New York City FC in February, Gerrard could be the perfect replacement next summer. Whether the Liverpool legend would want to move to another English club or not remains to be seen, but he has always openly desired the one trophy missing from his cabinet – the Premier League.
He could just get what he craved, while staying close to home, and he is heavily odds-on at 1/5 to still be playing in England’s top-flight next term.
New York City FC – 16/1
As just mentioned, Lampard will be joining MLS outfit New York City at the beginning of 2015. All franchises in the USA can have three designated stars that don’t have a salary cap, and the east coast club have just two so far, with Spain’s record scorer David Villa being the other.
A move to MLS is the second-favourite destination for Gerrard according to Coral at 5/1, with the likes of LA Galaxy and David Beckham’s proposed new franchise, Miami (16/1), also options.
If a move to another Premier League club doesn’t interest Gerrard, then the closest big outfit to home is undoubtedly PSG. Fellow former England captain Beckham had a short spell with the French capital club at the end of his career, so why not Gerrard as well?
The Parisians are well-stocked in midfield, though, with the likes of Thiago Motta, Blaise Matuidi, Yohan Cabaye and Marco Verratti all on their books.
PSG could be the only club that could almost assure Gerrard of winning silverware and getting Champions League action, so Ligue 1 is priced at 12/1 for the Englishman’s destination next season.
Coral also offer odds for other leagues such La Liga (20/1), Australia’s A League (25/1), the Indian Super League (50/1) and Bundesliga (66/1).
If you fancy Gerrard to cause mayhem by joining one of Liverpool’s bitter enemies, then take a punt on him going to Everton (33/1) or Manchester United (150/1).