Gerrard’s agent Struan Marshall of SFX told Sky Sports News that as far as he’s concerned, Gerrard is unlikely to be signing a new deal. He said: "Talks with Liverpool have stalled over a new contract for Steven Gerrard and are unlikely to be reopened." Off the record Marshall has been claiming that Liverpool haven’t even made an offer to Gerrard.
The agency claims that Liverpool have been trying to engineer Gerrard’s departure, something denied by the Reds.
When Gerrard arrived at Melwood this morning he met up again with Rafael Benitez and also Chief Executive Rick Parry. On his way to Melwood Rick Parry told the Liverpool Echo that he found these stories to be baffling. He said: "Rafa wants Stevie to stay and couldn’t have made it any clearer. We still hope this situation is repairable. We’re completely surprised by the reports this morning having made it clear since January we wanted to talk to Steven about a new contract. For anyone to make an issue of a delay of just a few days makes no sense. When we met on Wednesday things were fine."
It’s obvious that the comments from Parry are aimed at SFX – they are the ones publically complaining about a delay of a few days, ironic when their actions last summer in arranging a move to Chelsea for Gerrard have caused a year of uncertainty. This attempt to move the player by SFX took place when Gerrard still had three years left to go on his contract, and he’s still got two more left. Parry continued: "We have wanted to keep Steven all along. There’s never been any suggestion we wanted to sell him."
Gerrard’s agents have tried to link the alleged problems to money, saying Liverpool couldn’t afford the new contract for Gerrard. Parry denied this: "Money is not an issue. There are no financial concerns regarding Steven’s contract, so any suggestion to the contrary is wrong."
Privately, Rafael Benitez, is angry that he is being accused of trying to engineer a move away from Liverpool for the player. He did talk to Gerrard on Saturday, but is angry that stories claim he had a "furious row".
SFX have no doubt been in discussions with other clubs, including Chelsea and Real Madrid, in an attempt to get a deal for Gerrard underway in case it’s needed.
Meanwhile Bolo Zenden spoke at the press conference that officially unveiled him as a Reds player by pointing out that last season he spent a lot of the time playing in central midfield for Middlesborough going forward to try and score goals.