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Manchester City should not move for Steven Gerrard

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Following revelations that he would leave Anfield should Liverpool decide not to offer him a new contract, Steven Gerrard has been linked with a move to Premier League champions Manchester City.

The team that benefited so richly from Gerrard's infamous slip against Chelsea as last season's title race drew to a close could now show the midfielder the ultimate appreciation by offering him a contract.

However, should a team of City's ambition, and riches, be turning their attention to a 34-year-old who faces the axe from a club where he is idolised?

We've seen City do this as recently as this summer, when Frank Lampard was picked up from Chelsea via New York City, but surely the acquisition of Gerrard would smack of desperation?

One of the greatest midfielders to tread the Premier League turf, Gerrard's best days are behind him, and City need to look ahead, not backwards.

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Anfield departure

Gerrard has spent his entire career on Merseyside, despite receiving lucrative offers in the past, and many expected him to see out his career at Anfield.

That may not be the case though as in an interview quoted by Sky Sports last week the former England captain insisted he would be open to playing elsewhere should Liverpool opt against his existing deal which expires at the end of this season.

"As it stands at the moment, I'm here until the end of the season and want to make the most of it. I certainly won't be retiring this summer. I will play beyond this season," he said.

"We will have to wait and see if that's at Liverpool or somewhere else. That's Liverpool's decision. If they don't come then I will see what's out there."

That's alerted Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini, who said: "I don't ever rate players on their age. It depends on the money they cost and the number of years they have (on their contract).

"But, like Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard is a top player and he can continue at a high level for a couple more years."

Short-term solution

Though the Liverpool man's ability at his prime was unquestionable, City should think twice about employing him to run their midfield from next season and beyond.

With Yaya Toure suffering from an alarming start to the season, veteran Lampard has had to provide the inspiration from the middle of the park for Pellegrini's side, and that must be cause for concern.

With City harbouring ambitions to conquer Europe as well as the Premier League they must have genuine competitors, and understudies, to Toure's central midfield birth, beyond ageing greats picked up from rival clubs.

The likes of Gerrard and Lampard do not have long left at the top level, and although they clearly still have something to offer, City relying on players of their ilk suggests a very short-term approach.

More than that, hoping a man who will be 35 by the start of next season will provide the missing piece in the jigsaw makes Pellegrini, and City, look somewhat desperate.

Alternatives

If Pellegrini remains in the market for a central midfielder there are a number of options available to him across Europe.

The Juventus duo of Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba have long had their admirers in England and, although costly, could help take City to the next level.

Another player plying his trade in Italy who would be an improvement on the likes of Fernando and Fernandinho, and provide a more long-term option than Gerrard, is Roma's Kevin Strootman.

Manchester United are known to be keen on the Dutch midfielder despite an ongoing injury problem which ruled him out of this summer's World Cup, and City could do a lot worse than to bring in the 24-year-old.

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Topics:
Manchester City
Premier League
Liverpool
Football
Steven Gerrard

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