London, Apr. 27: Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard would have nearly swapped his home team for Chelsea nine years ago if he had gone ahead with a decision that reportedly rocked English football temporarily.
Media reports have revealed that shock and anger had swept across the club fans as Gerrard had handed in a transfer request at Liverpool, which he joined at the age of eight, on July 5 2005 after leading the club to Champions League glory just six weeks ago.
Gerrard has described that day as the ‘most emotional’ day of his life in his autobiography, the Guardian reported.
The skipper had reportedly made that transfer request after 12 months of drama when Gerrard had been seriously considering to leave the club after they had finished 30 points behind the champions Arsenal and where showing no obvious signs of being able to overturn that deficit.
Gerrard had reportedly been ‘tempted’ for the move because he felt that Liverpool were ‘stagnating’ under then boss Gerard Houllier while Chelsea had wealth, ambition and a new manager Jose Mourinho who wanted the midfielder on his squad.
However, Liverpool’s new foreign manager Rafael Benitez convinced the Spaniard to stay at the club, but things reportedly got messy again as the club showed little drive in offering Gerrard an extension to his contract that had two years remaining, which the player took as an indication of their desire to sell him.
Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry reportedly approached Gerrard three times in nine weeks during the 2004-05 season regarding a new deal, but the midfielder wanted everything on his terms regardless of the confusion and contradictions that caused and by the end of the summer all negotiations over a new deal had been called off.
Chelsea reportedly made a 32 million-pound bid for Gerrard at the start of the following month, but Liverpool rejected the offer and told the Spaniard, through his agent Struan Marshall, that a contract was still on the table if he wanted to sign, which the midfielder initially refused.
Following some contemplation over the new deal within himself, Gerrard eventually agreed to sign the deal and got a new contract worth 1,00,000-pounds a week at his childhood club, which was accepted by the Liverpool fans with big relief, the report added. (ANI)