In spite of some pretty spectacular rumours that Steven Gerrard was MLS bound, Brendan Rodgers confirmed that Liverpool are in talks with the midfielder to prolong his career at Anfield beyond the end of the season.
"As manager of this club you can’t afford to be sentimental," Rodgers said after Saturday's match versus Chelsea, "but, both on and off the field, as a leader and as a captain, I want to ensure that Steven is very much part of this second curve we’re on in terms of group development."
If Rodgers' statements sound familiar, it's because they're not dissimilar to what he said only a week ago on the subject. What's new is the confirmation that the club has at the very least approached Gerrard's agent, which puts them one step closer to securing the captain's signature.
With the debate about Gerrard's role in the team continuing to rage from all corners of Liverpool fandom, Rodgers' continued focus on Gerrard's leadership qualities over his more technical abilities is an interesting approach. With Gerrard playing such a huge role in the psyche of the club in the last fifteen years, Rodgers may not yet see a natural successor to take on the mantel of leadership that the captain has worn for so long.
Most knew that Gerrard's extension was always a matter of when and not if, but it's part of a longer process of formalizing the captain's last year(s) with the club. Rodgers will have to make a decision about how to have Gerrard age gracefully on the pitch, but the conversation between Gerrard, his manager, and the club about how to set themselves up for success on that front begins now.