Ronald Koeman insists he is serious when he states he is keen to welcome Steven Gerrard into his Southampton side next season.
Liverpool legend Gerrard confirmed on Friday morning that he would be leaving his boyhood club at the end of the current season, when his contract at Anfield will have expired. This will bring an end to his remarkable 28-year association with the club, having first linked up with them way back in 1987, the highlight of which was leading them to UEFA Champions League glory in 2005.
The 34-year-old is now set to head to the United States and link up with LA Galaxy, New York City and New York Red Bulls, having made it clear that he would find it difficult to line up against the Reds. However, Koeman has revealed that he would love to welcome the midfielder into his Southampton side should he change his mind, and he insists he is serious about his interest.
“It is maybe a little bit strange to see Gerrard out of Liverpool, and if he likes to continue, he can come,” said the Dutchman. “I am serious – if he likes to continue football in England, he can come. For Steven Gerrard, you have always a position for him. He is a fantastic football player, really at the top level in the midfield position and the captain of the club, with an impressive football career.”
Meanwhile, the Saints have wrapped up the loan signing of Holland international Eljero Elia. The winger, who has 27 caps for his country, has been out of favour at Werder Bremen of late, and he will look to kick-start his career in the Premier League. Should the 27-year-old impress at St Mary’s, then Koeman will have the option to sign him on a permanent deal during the summer.
“He’s a serious boy and he wants the chance to play football,” said Koeman. “He has the chance to play football at Southampton. It’s a good step, a big step for him. He’s still not 100 per cent because he didn’t play the last few months. But for the next weekend he will be prepared and he has to take his chance. For the rest, that is separate from football and I’m not interested.”
If Gerrard decided to extend his stay in England, would Southampton be a good option for him? Let us know what you think by joining the discussion below.