Soccer

Rafa Benitez already shown lack of loyalty to Steven Gerrard amid Celtic talk

Rafa Benitez already appears to have shown a lack of loyalty to Steven Gerrard after the former Reds boss claimed he’d rather sell the ex-midfielder for £40m than keep the Liverpool legend.

That is according to ex-Anfield man Danny Murphy, who was briefly at the club when Benitez came in before the Spaniard sold him to Charlton shortly after.

Benitez is being strongly linked with Neil Lennon’s job as Celtic manager after leaving Chinese side Dalian Pro.

That would pit him against Rangers boss Gerrard as direct rivals of the two Glaswegian clubs.

But Murphy admits that Benitez has already shown a lack of loyalty to the man who won him the Champions League in 2005.

He said on talkSPORT: "Rafa told Stevie he'd rather have the £40m than keep Stevie at the club.

"It put Stevie in a hell of a predicament. He didn't quite think that one through and backtracked on it. Hence the fact that he ended up staying.

"I think he apologised to him actually.

"I think he felt he had no choice at that point but the overwhelming support from the Liverpool fans and the closer it got to him leaving then the reality kicked in for him."

Gerrard’s legacy at Liverpool is regularly talked down due to his failure to ever win the Premier League.

But Murphy insists that the England hero should never look back on his playing career with any regrets due to what else he achieved in the game.

"No. 100 per cent no regrets,” he went on.

"He might look back and think, 'Could I have done a couple of years at Real Madrid or Barcelona?', that kind of thought.

"But actually what he achieved and what he became at Liverpool…

"Steven Gerrard will always be remembered in the same way as if he won a title. It doesn't go against him for me.

"So much of that is circumstances. What Stevie achieved at Liverpool in average teams by pulling them through on his own.

"FA Cup finals, Champions League, he scored in the UEFA Cup final and the League Cup final.

"To talk about the slip is ridiculous because if he wasn't playing that year they wouldn't have been anywhere near the title.

"His legacy will last forever because he stayed at Liverpool, I'm not sure that would be the case if he had left for Chelsea."

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