Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers defends Steven Gerrard exit

Steven Gerrard Liverpool

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Brendan Rodgers has hit back at claims he did not try hard enough to convince MLS-bound Steven Gerrard to stay at Liverpool beyond the end of the season.

On Friday the 34-year-old former England captain announced his decision to end his 25-year association with Liverpool when his contract expires in the summer.

It has now been confirmed he will move to the USA, with a big-money offer from MLS side LA Galaxy thought to be in the pipeline.

The decision came as a shock to Liverpool great Jamie Carragher who blamed Rodgers for “not doing enough” to convince Gerrard to stay.

But the Reds boss has refuted the claims and insists Gerrard was clear his future lies away from Liverpool.

“Steven’s statement makes it clear,” said Rodgers. “He knew my feelings about what he was done here. He’s been a brilliant captain for me in my time here.

“I naturally wanted him to stay here. His role is slightly different now, he still sees himself wanting to go on and play for a couple of years. Naturally at this level it was going to taper over the next couple years.

“He knew this but he wasn’t ready to go into coaching. He sees himself very much as a player.”

Rodgers added: “He said it himself – he left here on great terms, both with myself and the owners. Anything else that is said beyond that would be wide of the mark.”

Gerrard is likely to make his first appearance for Liverpool since announcing his exit on Monday in the FA Cup third-round tie at AFC Wimbledon.

The Anfield outfit are 1.22 to win the match while the League Two side are 9.70 to cause an upset.

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