Steven Gerrard is reportedly mulling over his options as he stalls on a new contract ahead of the January transfer window, reports claim.
The Liverpool skipper’s current deal with the Merseysiders expires in the summer and speculation has started to mount on his uncertain future.
The retired England international marked his 16th year at the club yesterday and his transformation in recent years could have a telling impact on his decision.
In his previous years, Gerrard roamed the Reds’ midfield as a box-to-box star, developing creative instincts that allowed him to push further up the pitch.
However, the 34-year-old’s age has started to take its toll. Last season he dropped further back in to a new defensive midfield role – a job he completed with commendable respect.
Yet, the Anfield outfit’s defensive frailties have increased this season and the introduction of players such as Emre Can, Lucas Leiva and Joe Allen in the XI recently has seen Gerrard reduced to the bench.
According to The Mirror, his decreasing on-field responsibilities reflected in a reported pay-cut contract offer are key reasons among others explaining Gerrard’s recent contract silence.
“Having turned down offers to join Chelsea, Gerrard is mulling over whether to commit himself to Liverpool for the rest of his playing days,” the report states.
It continues: “The club’s current form, the prospect of a pay cut, the deep-lying role he fills and his disappointment at not playing at Real Madrid in the Champions League clash earlier this month mean he is taking his time over a decision.
“There is still a chance of more talks but so far there has been no formal response to the offer and the longer it stays unsigned, the more likely it seems that Gerrard’s days at the club are numbered."
Gerrard has made 678 appearances for the Merseysiders since making his debut in 1998, helping the club win two FA Cups, three League Cups and a Champions League title.
In 2005, the midfielder was named UEFA Club Footballer of the Year and was third in the running for the prestigious Ballon d’Or award.