Gerrard key to Rodgers' Reds
Published 05/04/2013 | 16:42
Brendan Rodgers is determined to keep Steven Gerrard at Liverpool for the rest of his career as he believes the mercurial midfielder can remain one of Europe's top players for another five years.
With a year left on his current deal beyond this season, speculation has already started as to the possibility of Reds skipper Gerrard signing up to a further extension. Rodgers refused to disclose whether talks have already started with Gerrard about a new contract, stating it is "private between Steven, I and the club".
Rodgers has, however, made it clear he wants Gerrard - who turns 33 at the end of next month - to stay on at Anfield. With Gerrard now approaching 15 years' service as a professional with Liverpool, Rodgers said: "He's 32 years and super fit at the moment. He's played every minute of every (Premier League) game."
He added: "We've worked very hard on his individual plan to make him as fit as he possibly can be, and the rest has been down to him really.
"It's about his responsibility on the field, how he manages himself off it. He's been first class, and as a captain he's been brilliant this year.
"So he's 32, 33 in May, and I still see another three to five years left in him yet as long as everything holds up with his body, which this year has been nigh-on perfect. So that (a new contract) is something we will sort out in due course."
Rodgers has no doubts he can envisage Gerrard playing at the highest level through to the age of 37 or 38.
"Why not?" said Rodgers. "He's a brilliant professional. Look at the likes of (Javier) Zanetti at Inter Milan (currently 39) and (Andrea) Pirlo (currently 33) who are still talked about as top European players.
"Steven currently is that at the moment, and I can see him being that for the next number of years. As I've said, he's had a fantastic season this season up until now and he wants to finish it strongly.
"His priority is always Liverpool, which is real humbleness from the guy. He is more worried about the football club than himself. I, as a manager, want to make sure he stays here because he's very, very important for what I want to do."