Steven Gerrard will take charge of Liverpool’s Under 18s next season, according to reports.
The Liverpool legend has been at the club’s Academy since January and will be in the dugout for the 2017-18 campaign as he looks to strengthen his managerial credentials.
The 36-year-old, who retired last November following two seasons with LA Galaxy, will complete his coaching badges while overseeing the U18s side.
According to The Times, Gerrard’s application and work ethic since taking on the role have impressed Jurgen Klopp and academy director Alex Inglethorpe enough for him to be rewarded with a place in the dugout.
Gerrard snubbed a move to manage MK Dons last year, claiming it came “too soon” after holding talks with chairman Pete Winkelman.
But now The Times’ northern football correspondent Paul Joyce has revealed that Gerrard’s first taste of management will come at Liverpool.
Gerrard guided the club to Champions League glory in 2005, and made more than 500 appearances for the Merseyside outfit.
The German tactician insists he will do his utmost to help the former England midfielder succeed in management.
“We had a very good very long talk together,” Klopp said.
“Everyone in this room knows better than I do he is a wonderful guy and it was important to know what Steven wants and he said he wants to be a manager in the future. That’s cool.
“From my side I said everything I can do to help him on his way to be the best manager he can be, I am ready for this and I’d like to do it.
“Now he is at the academy it is good for us and for him it is perfect.
“Being a manager is a job you have to learn and when a person like Steven Gerrard and the player he was is ready to make the steps, that is wonderful news for football.
“Combining his playing experience with all the things he will learn from now on will be a bright future. It is brilliant.”
It’s so far unsure what role Neil Critchley will play, the current Under-18 boss, but there is a strong notion that Gerrard will manage this group for a season before progressing to the Under-23s in 2018/19.
Meanwhile, Ian Rush has fuelled speculation that Steven Gerrard could pull the Liverpool shirt back on for next month’s showdown with Sydney FC, declaring the retired Anfield icon is still in top physical condition.
Unsurprisingly, Gerrard was the major attraction when more than 40,000 turned out at ANZ Stadium for last January’s match between Socceroos and Liverpool Legends – just as he was at a packed MCG in 2013 when he scored the opening goal in the Reds’ 2-0 win over Melbourne Victory.
Should the 36-year-old return for a game directly preceding Liverpool’s 125th-anniversary celebrations on June 3, organisers should indeed get the sell-out they expect.
Only last month Gerrard scored a superb goal in a Liverpool Legends clash with Real Madrid Legends at Anfield.