Stop me if you've heard this one before.
A legendary English midfielder is, supposedly, seriously considering signing with New York City. No, I'm not talking about Frank Lampard. No, I'm serious, I'm not kidding around. I saw it on Sky News.
According to Sky News, the midfielder in question -- seriously, why are you laughing? This isn't a joke! -- is Liverpool's Steven Gerrard. Apparently, he's rejected a contract extension, and his agent is holding talks with both the LA Galaxy and New York City.
The 34-year-old's current contract expires at the end of the season and he has been embroiled in lengthy talks with the club over his future, but he is also now free to discuss and sign a pre-contract agreement with another club.
And it appears the former England captain, who has skippered his boyhood club for over 11 years, has made a decision on his future and will see out the end of his career abroad.
Both Liverpool and the MLS refused to deny the midfielder is in talks with LA and New York, but the MLS did make sure to put on record that Gerrard is "a world-class player and soccer fans throughout the world have admired his talents for many years".
This isn't the first time that Gerrard has been linked with MLS. I'm not even going to get into the time that Gerrard was going to play in MLS -- for the New York Cosmos. So what makes this occasion different? Well, there seems to be a lot more smoke here, with multiple reports claiming that Gerrard is ready to announce he's leaving Liverpool at the end of the season. Plus, Jamie Carragher, his longtime partner in the team, had this to say:
Sad day for Lfc & English football with the Gerrard news, I think it's the right decision all things considered.— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) January 1, 2015
The transfer window opens up on Saturday. Furthermore, Gerrard's current contract at Anfield ends this June, which means he's within the magic six-month window where he can hold contract talks with other clubs besides his own.
Two questions come to mind.
First, why would any MLS club consider him? The Steven Gerrard we're seeing this season is a shadow of the player he was last season, never mind when he was in his prime. This is a player who's become more liability than asset for Liverpool. It is no surprise that Liverpool's most fluid performance this season came this past week, when Brendan Rodgers benched him. I have a hard time believing that he'll be more effective playing in an unfamiliar league with strange teammates. If anything, he'll have the same difficulties that most European players experience when making the transition to MLS; Jermaine Jones was the exception, but he and Gerrard are radically different players.
Second, why would New York City consider him? Like Lampard*, Gerrard has been a one-club man his entire career. He's never seriously entertained the idea of leaving the Premier League to play elsewhere. What's more, he's famously dissed MLS, when talking about none other than Frank Lampard:
"Of course he made the right choice. He was too good for LA Galaxy in my opinion," the England captain said.
"Everyone saw how good he was at the end of last season for Chelsea.
"Of course I would have supported his decision if he had decided to go to LA Galaxy, but for me he still had a lot to offer in the Premier League and certainly for England.
"I would have been sad if he had moved away because he is a great player."
Leave aside the question of "replacing" Lampard with Gerrard. Ask yourself this:
Do we really want to repeat the same histrionics that we just underwent with Lampard all over again this summer?
To me, those remarks in 2013 tell me everything I need to know about Steven Gerrard. There are better options on offer, assuming that New York City is seriously considering them.