Gerrard - United wanted me
Liverpool will always be the club for Steven Gerrard, but he admits to having snubbed approaches from Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho in the past.
Last Updated: 01/09/12 3:28pm
Steven Gerrard insists Liverpool will always be the club for him, but admits to having snubbed approaches from Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho in the past.
Another transfer window has closed with Gerrard still on the books at Anfield, with the Reds skipper as committed to the cause now as he has ever been.
Former England boss Sven Goran Eriksson recently suggested that the talismanic midfielder will have to move on if he wants to lift the Premier League title, the one glaring omission from his trophy cabinet.
Gerrard, though, refuses to buy into that belief and has remained loyal to his home-town club throughout a glittering career which has offered various opportunities to take on new challenges away from Merseyside.
Jose Mourinho came as close as anyone to luring the England international away from Anfield during his time as Chelsea boss, and Gerrard has revealed that the Portuguese tactician also expressed an interest in his services after taking the reins at Real Madrid.
He also claims that Manchester United were keen on taking him to Old Trafford at one stage, but the 32-year-old admits he could never have represented one of Liverpool's fiercest rivals.
On the speculation that has followed him around for the best part of a decade, Gerrard told the Daily Mail: "That sort of thing has been going on for the last 10 years. People only really heard about it with Mourinho and Chelsea in 2004 and 2005. But it has happened a few times.
"It was flattering back then because the two best managers around wanted me to play in their teams.
"Gary Neville said he (Ferguson) wanted me. But you understand that playing for Manchester United would have been impossible. I never would have wanted to play for Manchester United. They are a fantastic club but that rivalry is there, and it's why Gary could not have played for us either.
"Don't get me wrong. It was flattering that, after everything he has done in the game, Sir Alex Ferguson wanted me to play in his team. But that was an impossible situation.
"The Mourinho thing was different, of course. This club weren't really challenging at the time, so there was something to think about. But I ended up saying no and a year later I said no again.
"But he came back when he arrived at Real Madrid two years ago. I look at some players who get interest from clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona and they cause absolute wars to get out and get there. But that has never been me and, again, it just wasn't going to happen. I was happy here. I was settled. I thought all that had gone really."
Gerrard says he has never looked to rock the boat at Anfield, with it up to him and those around him to ensure that Liverpool are capable of challenging for top honours in the future.
He said: "I see no point in pointing fingers. I see no point complaining that I haven't won the league because the owners left, because Rafa Benitez sold Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano wanted to go to Barcelona.
"I could point to the setbacks the club have suffered and blame them for why I haven't won the league. But the season that we finished second we could have won the league. We drew two or three stupid games at home and I was in the team, I was playing; I have to take some of the responsibility for that. I may need to look at myself before I start pointing fingers. It's too easy to blame other people in football.
"Of course, it's the one big hole in my career and maybe I'll never win the league now.
"But I've done a lot. I have no regrets. I'd love to win the Premier League. I still have that hunger. But I also know I have to be realistic and it could be I'm no longer playing when this club win the league again.
"But what do I do? It would be easy to say I want to leave. That I've had enough of this club. But I haven't had enough. I want more. I've also won the best cup you can win. People talk about me never winning the Premier League but there are players who've won the Premier League who have never lifted the European Cup."