The Los Angeles Galaxy learned a valuable lesson from Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard’s past in telling him “what he wanted to hear” in their aggressive pursuit of the midfielder.
The 34-year-old will leave Anfield at the end of this season after confirming he will be joining the reigning Major League Soccer champions in the summer.
Both Gerrard and Galaxy themselves describe the recruitment process as “aggressive”, which is in stark contrast to the way Liverpool handled his contract negotiations.
The midfielder admits had the Reds offered him a new contract last summer he would not be bringing an end an association which stretches back to when he was eight years old.
But an extension to his existing deal was not raised with the player until November – after Gerrard had expressed his surprise that no talks had been forthcoming – by which time he had already been told by Brendan Rodgers his playing time would be managed.
Such a tactic had already seen him left on the bench for Liverpool’s Champions League match against Real Madrid in the Bernabeu and that, combined with the delay in negotiations, gave interested parties the encouragement they needed to make approaches.
“Their (the Galaxy’s) pursuing me was very aggressive,” said Gerrard told lagalaxy.com.
“The talks I’ve had with them have been very positive, they basically told me what I wanted to hear, told me about the winning mentality of the club, what their goals are for the future.
“Having spoken to the manager Bruce Arena and the people above him they are very aggressive.
“They want success and that is what I want and that is how I want to finish my career.
“I’d like to think I’ve got the same attitude as the people who have made this signing happen - the manager, the CEO and the owner, they like to see themselves as winners.”