With Steven Gerrard starting Saturday's match against Stoke on the bench, marking only the second time he's done so in the league under Brendan Rodgers and following a series of comments last week where the manager admitted he could no longer play every minute, it was inevitable Rodgers would face questions about Gerrard's future.
"The latest is Steven's representatives and the club have spoken and he's been offered a contract," said Rodgers when asked about what comes next for his captain given his current deal set to expire at the end of the season and there are rumours of a difference between club and player as to whether he should get a one or two-year deal. "At the moment, that's where things are at."
As for where things stand in the more immediate future, Rodgers was quick to wave away suggestions that Gerrard not starting on Saturday could be the result of a falling out over how best to manage his minutes. It might seem a silly rumour to have to address, but given how long it has taken Rodgers to seemingly even consider rotating Gerrard, it too may have been inevitable.
"He's been an outstanding player in my time here," said the manager. "He's at the stage of his career where it's not about just the number of games but the level of the games. I see his talent every day and I have to manage that and put him into the games where he can be at his most effective. Every top player will come to this point, but it isn't a problem."
With how long it's taken to see signs the club is perhaps willing to deal honestly with the reality of Steven Gerrard not being 24 years old, though, wondering it there is a problem seems fair. It's a corner Rodgers and the club painted themselves into by refusing to manage the captain's minutes over the past few seasons, making it into a much bigger issue than it should have been.
And so hopefully there isn't a problem. Hopefully, too, starting on the bench on Saturday will mark a real change in the way the captain's minutes are managed moving forward. Because Gerrard still has a great deal to offer the club, but starting him regardless of fitness, form, or opponent the past few years hasn't done the club or player any favours.
"I love working with Steven—he's arguably the best player who has ever played in the Premier League—so I hope he continues," added Rodgers. "He deserves as much time as he needs to make a decision about his future."