Former England midfielder Steven Gerrard has left Major League Soccer side LA Galaxy, the club confirmed on Tuesday, but he indicated that he is not yet ready to retire from playing.
“The LA Galaxy announced today that midfielder Steven Gerrard will not return to the club for the 2017 MLS season,” read a statement issued by the Galaxy.
“Gerrard departs from LA following the conclusion of his contract in Major League Soccer at the end of the year.”
The 36-year-old had joined the Galaxy in July 2015 following his departure from Liverpool, where he starred for 17 years.
Having previously been tipped to see out his playing days in the United States, he suggested that he will now move on to another club before hanging up his boots.
“When I left Liverpool, I came to Los Angeles with the goal of helping the Galaxy lift another MLS Cup,” said Gerrard, who was eliminated in the Western Conference semifinals with Galaxy by Colorado Rapids earlier this month.
“I am of course disappointed to have not achieved that objective, but I can look back at my time at the club with pride at what we accomplished, including two straight playoff appearances and countless memorable moments on the pitch.”
He added: “I am now looking forward to spending time with my family as I consider the next stage of my career.”
Gerrard scored five goals in 34 appearances for the Galaxy.
While he will continue to work as a television pundit for BT Sport in the United Kingdom, his comments will be of interest to numerous potential suitors, including Scottish champions Celtic.
Managed by Gerrard’s former boss at Anfield Brendan Rodgers, they have been installed as the favourites with bookmakers at odds of 2/1 to be his next port of call.
Speaking to Galaxy TV, he added: “Although I’m going back to England to live, it’s certainly not the end of me in football terms. I’ve got a lot of things to consider over the coming weeks and months, and I’m sure I’ll be back involved in the game.
“I’ve got options on the pitch, off the pitch.
“I’ve got a lot of thinking to do over the next two or three weeks. I’m not ready to make a decision or finalise anything that I’m going to be doing moving forward.
“What I will say is that I’m going home to spend some time with my family and basically go over my options and decide which is the best next challenge for me.”
Gerrard’s departure comes a day after New York City F.C. confirmed his ex-England teammate Frank Lampard, 38, will leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the year.
Capped 114 times by England, Gerrard skippered home-town team Liverpool for 12 years, famously lifting the Champions League trophy in 2005 after an unforgettable comeback against AC Milan.
He also won two FA Cups, three League Cups and the Uefa Cup at Liverpool, but he never laid his hands on the Premier League trophy.