Former Red Danny Murphy has opened up on Liverpool’s attempt to offload Steven Gerrard to Chelsea all those years ago.
It is public knowledge that Gerrard was tempted to make the move to Stamford Bridge back in 2004-05.
Gerrard felt that the Liverpool manager at the time, Rafa Benitez, did not give him the respect that he wanted.
Murphy has confirmed that Benitez would have preferred to receive a transfer fee of £40 million from Chelsea instead of keeping Gerrard at Liverpool. Gerrard remained at the club, but it certainly was not without drama.
Murphy told Talksport: “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.”
It is bizarre how poor the relationship was between Gerrard and Benitez, however, as Murphy pointed out, it did not get off to a good start. It is clear from interviews that they never saw eye-to-eye.
Considering how good a player Gerrard was for Benitez all those years ago, one would think the Spaniard would have been in awe of his midfielder.
However, that was not the case. Benitez is quite fortunate that Gerrard never left, because the reality is, he carried Liverpool throughout those years.
Without Gerrard, Benitez never would have won the 2005 Champions League trophy.