Steven Gerrard is 34 years old and as has become increasingly clear this season, he no longer has the stamina to contribute at the highest level for 90 minutes every week. It takes nothing away from his talent to admit that, or to suggest that while he could still be hugely valuable for Liverpool, it's likely only in a reduced role.
A reduced role, though, may not be what Gerrard wants after captaining the Reds for a decade. And if it isn't, rumour has it that former Liverpool manager and current New York Red Bulls sporting director Gerard Houllier hopes he can bring his former player across the pond to join him in New York this summer when his current contract expires.
The Telegraph and others are reporting the New York club's interest in the player, going as far as to suggest money has been earmarked for Gerrard should he wish to make the switch to MLS. More intriguing, though, might be a second, competing Gerrard to an MLS side based in New York rumour currently being floated.
New York City FC, the MLS expansion club owned by Manchester City, are set to kick off their debut season in the spring of 2015, and rumour has it that they too are interested in signing Gerrard. For those who haven't been paying attention, NYCFC are the current employers of ex-Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard, who is on loan from them at City.
That would mean that if Gerrard doesn't sign a new Liverpool deal, there's a chance he could play out the final seasons of his career alongside Lampard, who one England manager after another tried—and failed—to make work together in the same midfield at the international level. From the neutral's perspective, it's a rumour that ranks high for entertainment value.
For most Liverpool fans, though, the hope will be that Gerrard can see his way to accepting a reduced role as an impact substitute and occasional starter, because it would be a shame if he passed up the chance to retire a one-club man in favour of heading to New York—whether it's to join up with Houllier or Lampard.