Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has put an end to speculation surrounding his future at Anfield by announcing that he will leave the club at the end of the season after nearly 17 years on the books.
The odds moguls at bwin headquarters have been quick to price up what the 34-year-old’s next step might be, with a move to Major League Soccer in the United States of America the red hot 3/10 favourite.
Both the New York Red Bulls and LA Galaxy are reported to be interested in bringing the 114-cap international to the home of the brave and the land of the free.
It’s also understood that “a host of Champions League-calibre clubs abroad will be hoping to tempt him” according to the Telegraph’s Chris Bascombe, yet part of the statement Liverpool released today seems to preclude a move to another European team, with Gerrard quoted as saying:
“I’m going to carry on playing and although I can’t confirm at this stage where that will be, I can say it will be somewhere that means I won’t be playing for a competing club and will not therefore be lining up against Liverpool – that is something I could never contemplate.”
While many may have taken that to mean he wouldn’t be playing Premier League football, the Liverpool legend could well also be ruling out a move to a Champions League or Europa League contestant next term, as well as retirement.
Gerrard also told of a desire for new experiences, saying:
“My decision is completely based on my wish to experience something different in my career and life and I also want to make sure that I have no regrets when my playing career is eventually over.”
For a player so steeped in European competition during his years at Anfield, the MLS, with it’s end of season play-offs, developing international stature and lack of language issues seems to fit the bill perfectly.