LA Galaxy have confirmed that former England captain Steven Gerrard will not return for the 2017 MLS season after his contract expires.
Gerrard has scored five goals and provided 14 assists in 34 appearances for the Galaxy during the MLS regular season after a high-profile, drawn-out departure from boyhood club Liverpool in 2015.
The Anfield legend is now expected to return to British shores, with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp saying Gerrard would “always be welcome” at the club, amid speculation he could return in a coaching capacity.
Celtic have also been credited with an interest, with ex-Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers thought to be keen on a reunion with his former captain.
In a statement, Gerrard hinted he is yet to make a decision on whether he will retire on a penalty-shootout defeat to Colorado Rapids in the MLS Cup Playoffs Western Conference semi-finals.
“When I left Liverpool, I came to Los Angeles with the goal of helping the Galaxy lift another MLS Cup,” Gerrard said in a statement.
“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.
“As someone who spent the whole of their career in Liverpool, it has been an incredible experience to come to Los Angeles and play for the LA Galaxy.
“I would also like to thank my teammates, the coaching staff, all of the support staff and most importantly the fans for their fantastic support during my time at Galaxy; I am excited to see this league and this great club continue to grow.
“I am now looking forward to spending time with my family as I consider the next stage of my career.”
Gerrard’s departure follows his former England midfield partner Frank Lampard’s decision to leave New York City FC upon the expiration of his contract.
Like Gerrard, Lampard has been linked with a coaching return to his former club Chelsea.