The Liverpool skipper is likely to extend his stay at Anfield but Glen Johnson looks destined to leave the club after six years.
Steven Gerrard has played down reports of a rift between him and Brendan Rodgers as a spokesman for the Anfield giants confirmed that a formal contract offer has been made to the player, with his agent closely monitoring the terms. Gerrard has always said he will wait and see how the season progresses before committing himself to a new deal. The Liverpool manager has promised to balance Gerrard’s game time to ensure his prolonged stay at the top level.
The former England skipper was rested for most of the weekend win over Stoke while he was also on the bench for 70 minutes of the Champions League group game. This seemed to prompt speculations of his departure but Rodgers said contract talks are ongoing and insisted there would be no problems in agreeing a new deal to keep Gerrard at Anfield for 2015-16 and beyond.
“The club is talking to Steven’s representative and there are absolutely no problems that I am aware of,” he explained. “There is no update on it, but there are no problems.”
“Steven’s at the point of his career when he’s not going to play every game, and not every minute of every game [he does play].
“It is simple. The reality is that at this level, and how competitive it is and the squad we have here, you can’t just rely on Steven in every single game. But he is still a hugely important player.”
“He came on against Stoke and did an important job for us with his stature and experience, and he will always play a big part in our work.”
Meanwhile Glen Johnson looks resigned to the fact that he is leaving Liverpool at the end of this season after claiming he won’t ‘go crawling’ to the club for a new contract. Talks of an extension have so far failed to yield any positive breakthrough and it is understood that Johnson is unwilling to accept the reduced terms of the new contract offered so far.
“I have enjoyed the majority of the six years; I’ve had some good times and some bad times, but if I haven’t got a contract then I can’t stay,” said the England defender.
“Of course it plays on your mind but that is when you have to be professional and try to do a job for your team, and I respect my team-mates and I want to put in a performance for them.”
“I want to play for a club that wants me – I am not going to go crawling to anybody. The club know where I am and they know the situation.”
“There were minor talks at the end of last season but nothing I could accept or reject.”
“I want to play my football, keep winning for Liverpool and I want to respect my contract, and that is what I am willing to do.”
Johnson’s first goal since December 2012 ended a three-match losing run in the league for Liverpool.”You enjoy winning games, scoring goals and being involved in assists – they are the great parts of football so on a personal level I am very happy,” he added.
“Nothing has changed from last year. The backroom staff, the playing staff are fighting for the same cause and the objective is still the same, but in football you go through some sticky patches.”
“The quality is not in doubt, it is about confidence and trying to put a run of performances together.”