In Brief

Gerrard plans Liverpool return even before the farewell tears

Local hero will play last game at Anfield on Saturday, but he could soon be back there as a coach

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Anfield will be an emotional place on Saturday as Steven Gerrard bids farewell to the Kop after 17 seasons in Liverpool red. However, it might not be too long before he is back at his old stamping ground in a coaching capacity.

Gerrard admitted he was dreading the final whistle on Saturday, and that he would have to fight to hold back the tears as he reflected on his journey from youth team to captain.

"I'll be thinking of the people who have been there with me since day one," he told The Guardian. "I remember getting on the bus with my dad to the centre of excellence... getting two buses in the rain and the cold and the ice and snow, and I'll just go back to that moment when it all began."

But Gerrard also said there would be a sense of "relief and a release" from the pressures of Premier League football.

But his absence from the English game might not be long, according to Chris Bascombe in the Daily Telegraph. "Plans for him to rejoin Liverpool as part of Brendan Rodgers's coaching staff are already in place," he says.

Gerrard has held talks with club chairman Tom Werner and Rodgers over how he can be "integrated into the backroom team once his playing career is over".

He will "shadow" Rodgers when he returns, says The Times, and whether or not his return is for the long term, it will serve both parties well, says the paper.

"Gerrard, who is working towards his Uefa B licence, insists that he would not be prepared to take a job on reputation, but his interest in a career in coaching is well established and it is clear that the Liverpool owner, Fenway Sports Group, views him as having a role to play in the club's future."

Whatever happens in the future, Gerrard made it clear that he would never be a stranger at Anfield. "I am a supporter and I always will be, so if there isn't a role it won't be the end of the world and I'll be coming to support the lads like the normal punters," he said.

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