STEVEN GERRARD has revealed all on failed Chelsea switch and fears Rafa Benitez would have used the £37.5m transfer fee to rebuild Liverpool.
The London side made several attempts to lure Gerrard to Stamford Bridge but the midfielder eventually extended his contract with the Reds six weeks after lifting the Champions League trophy in 2005.
Gerrard has since reflected on the transfer saga and admits he regrets toying with the idea of a switch to Stamford Bridge but was very tempted by the offer.
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He told Gary Neville on Sky Sports Soccer Box: “I regret the little bit of flirting back then and how that all blew up,
“The fact is I didn’t know whether I was coming or going with Rafa at the time. Rafa was having conversations with me like ‘I know your agent is talking to Real Madrid and Chelsea’.
“I got a paranoid feeling at the time that Rafa would have taken money to try and build Liverpool on.
“Chelsea bid £37.5 million. At the time, massive amounts of dough but what would you get for that now?”
Neville joked: “Half a Fred!”
Gerrard continued: “[Jose] Mourinho was a massive part of that. A lack of maturity on my part allowed me to think about it and flirt with that idea a bit.
“But now I have no regrets at all because Liverpool are the club I love – and that’s the way it should be.”
Gerrard went on to earn a legend status at Liverpool and has never played for any other club in Europe – he only left Reds to spend 18 months at LA Galaxy before his retirement in 2016.
Chelsea in that time won both European cups and triumphed in the Premier League five times.
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Last September, Champions League-winning boss Jurgen Klopp said Gerrard would be the ideal candidate to replace him in the Anfield hot seat.
The Rangers chief is said to be in regular contact with Klopp and the Anfield side’s powerbrokers.
Gerrard reckons the club should honour the German manager with a statute when he delivers their first league title for 30 years.