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Rediff.com  » Sports » We wanted Gerrard to stay: Parry

We wanted Gerrard to stay: Parry

July 06, 2005 13:28 IST
Chief executive Rick Parry says Liverpool did everything to try to persuade captain Steven Gerrard to remain with the club.

Parry was reacting after the England midfielder announced on Tuesday that he wanted to leave the European champions.

"It's disappointing because we made it clear we wanted him to stay...there's no question about that," Parry told Liverpool's official website.

"He's made it pretty clear now that he wants to go and so we have to move on.

"I remember sitting with him last summer and understanding his frustrations, which were deep at the time. He came close to leaving then but we asked him to stick with us and see what we could achieve," said Parry.

"We thought we had achieved a fair bit last season."

Almost six weeks after lifting the Champions League trophy in Istanbul following a remarkable win over AC Milan, Gerrard rejected a contract offer in a move that will kick-start a transfer bidding war among Europe's elite.

"The last six weeks have been the toughest of my life and it's the hardest decision I have ever had to make," Gerrard said.

NEW CONTRACT

"I fully intended to sign a new contract after the Champions League final but the events of the last five or six weeks have changed all that.

"I have too much respect for the club and the people at it to get involved in a slanging match."

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Earlier, Liverpool said Gerrard had turned down an improved and extended contract offer.

The five-times European champions also said they had rejected a bid for the 25-year-old from Premier League champions Chelsea.

Newspapers reported Chelsea had offered a British record 32 million pounds ($56.28 million) to prise the inspirational playmaker away from his hometown club.

That would eclipse the 29.1 million pounds Manchester United paid to Leeds United for England defender Rio Ferdinand in 2002. Real Madrid are also rumoured to be interested in Gerrard.

England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson said Gerrard's international career would be unaffected by a transfer.

"For me it doesn't matter if he plays for Liverpool or for Chelsea or for Real Madrid or whoever," Eriksson told Sky Sports News.

"Steven Gerrard is Steven Gerrard. For England it doesn't matter which club shirt he has on."

Tony Jimenez
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