Updates from Friday, August 1
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger responded to Gerrard's potshots on Friday, according to Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail:
Liverpool skipper Gerrard told Suarez last summer not to join Arsenal because his dream was to play for Real Madrid or Barcelona, but Wenger has reacted with a simple message for the midfielder.
'You are never too good for Arsenal and Gerrard knows that,' said Wenger on Friday.
Liverpool fans have been put on alert after Steven Gerrard suggested his playing days may not end at Anfield, opening up about the possibility of following Frank Lampard with a switch to Major League Soccer.
Lampard recently completed a move to soon-to-be MLS franchise New York City FC, and David Maddock of the Mirror quotes the Reds captain hinting he'd be interested in a similar switch in the years to come:
One day that might happen to me, I don’t know. I’ve never really discussed it with anyone or thought about it. Maybe one day I would like the chance to go away from Liverpool for a short time and try something different.
I think Frank has made a great decision. At his age, 36, he’s had a wonderful career and I don’t think he has anything to prove in England in any more. He’s broken records with Chelsea and won everything with them. I think it’s a perfect move for him. But I haven’t given it much thought. That carrot hasn’t been dangled yet.
Gerrard currently has a year remaining on his contract at the club where he's spent his entire career, having first joined the Liverpool academy in 1987, aged nine.
However, despite the deal's expiration now coming within view, the Premier League giants seemingly have a relaxed outlook on their captain's situation, with Gerrard detailing that talks of a new contract are yet to begin:
Brendan [Rodgers, Liverpool's manager] has mentioned a new deal a couple of times in the media. But no talks have happened. I am not trying to call the club out or anything like that. It’s not like that. I’m sure we will talk in the future but we will have to wait and see. I hope that I'm here for more than one year, of course I do. But it is all about this season for me.
Rodgers is attempting to follow up last season's second-place finish in the Premier League with an even brighter campaign in 2014-15, one that will see Liverpool return to the Champions League for the first time since 2009.
And as Gerrard states, this is as big a season for him as it is for any of the club's new signings, of which there are many. Media tactics are a major factor in modern football when players' contracts are concerned, but one can believe 34-year-old Gerrard when he states his intention is to play on for as long as possible at Liverpool.
We Play's Nik Postinger hypothesises how odd it would be for the playmaker to feature anywhere else but notes stranger things have happened:
Difficult to imagine Gerrard not at Liverpool, but after seeing Del Piero leave the Old Lady anything can happen… Except Totti leaving Roma.— Nikolas Postinger (@nikpostinger) July 30, 2014
Suarez's loss will be a particularly intriguing aspect of the club's campaign. Gerrard believes his former teammate was right to opt for a move to Barcelona instead of remaining in the English top flight, claiming his talents are too good for the likes of Arsenal, per the Mirror's Maddock:
His dream all along, from the first day he came, was to play for Real Madrid or Barcelona.
Last summer, when he was out in the cold and training on his own, that’s the conversation I had with him. I said, ‘Don’t go to Arsenal.’ With all due respect to them, I said to him that he was too good for Arsenal.
Gerrard's comments are likely to earn him a cold reception at the Emirates this season, but he makes no effort to hide his admiration for Suarez's quality. The Uruguayan so nearly fired Liverpool to the title, showing form that ultimately earned him his dream move.
The Liverpool skipper, unlike Suarez, has never had to move to play for his dream club, but it will come as a shock to Reds fans to hear that Gerrard may not finish his career as a Red.
The United States has become a popular payday destination for Europe's ageing stars, and one could argue that the Liverpool icon is deserving of his time to pursue a project elsewhere.
As Sachin Nakrani of The Guardian states, Gerrard's leaning toward a departure may also be influenced by what's been a difficult time for him, missing out on a Premier League title by inches before enduring a torrid World Cup campaign with England:
Steven Gerrard claims to have experienced the worst three months of his life. Cheer up Stevie, it could be worse. #Moyes— Sachin Nakrani (@SachinNakrani) July 30, 2014
For 27 years and counting, Liverpool have been fortunate enough to count Gerrard as one of their own, but the inevitable end will be reaching its climax in the seasons to come.
That being said, a lot will rely on how the 2014-15 campaign unravels, and if Gerrard can lead the Reds in a similar vein of success as he did last term, there may yet be a few more years on Merseyside to look forward to.