Steven Gerrard was almost sold by Liverpool to Chelsea.
The former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy has given his version of events which almost led to Steven Gerrard’s departure to Chelsea.
Gerrard, the then Liverpool captain, had famously received interest from Chelsea in both the 2004 and 2005 summer transfer windows.
And, by his own admission, the boyhood Reds fan considered leaving Anfield for Stamford Bridge.
But Gerrard ultimately remained a Liverpool player until 2015, when he left to join Los Angeles Galaxy.
Murphy was a teammate of the now Rangers manager for six years on Merseyside.
And asked on Talksport earlier how he felt about Gerrard’s ‘flirtation’ with Chelsea, the 43-year-old replied: “Well I had my own problems because I was leaving (he later joined Charlton Athletic)! Rafa (Benitez, the then Liverpool manager) came in and he needed money. He wanted to revamp the squad, so he had to get some players out and some players in. Normal.
“When you’re part of the collateral damage, it hurts. But Stevie should never have been part of the equation and he was for a while.
“Chelsea offered £40 million and Rafa told Stevie that he’d rather have the £40m than him stay. So he put Stevie in a bit of a predicament. He didn’t quite think that one through and backtracked on it, hence the fact that Stevie ended up staying. I think he even apologised to him.
“I think he felt he had no choice (but to leave) at that point. But the overwhelming support from the Liverpool fans and the closer it got to him leaving, I think the reality kicked in. On that occasion it was thrust upon Stevie. He didn’t ask for a bid to be made and he didn’t ask for Rafa’s response.”
Asked if he thought Gerrard had any regrets, Murphy insisted: “No. 100 per cent no. I think looking back now he might think, could I have done a few years at Real Madrid or Barcelona?’ But actually what he achieved and what he became at Liverpool was…”
Gerrard inspired Liverpool to Champions League glory a year after Chelsea’s first approach, although the Blues went on to lift it themselves in 2012.
And Chelsea would win five Premier League titles to Liverpool’s none during Gerrard’s Reds career.
The 39-year-old returned to Merseyside to coach the Under-18s before being taking charge of Rangers in 2018.