Steven Gerrard has made it emphatically clear that taking the Everton job was “never a possibility”.
The Toffees appointed former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez to the role, a move that has divided both the red and blue halves of Merseyside.
“Rafa wasn’t born in the city, he’s not a red through-and-through and he never played against Everton for 20 years and competed against them, so I think it’s a very different situation [to mine],” the Rangers boss told ESPN.
“Rafa is his own man and will make his own professional decisions, so there’s no surprise that he wanted to get back in the Premier League at a big club and have the opportunity to compete against all the top teams in the league, so I wasn’t very shocked and surprised at all in all honesty.
“I was very shocked and surprised that my name was linked to the job. I don’t know where it came from, whether it was paper talk or if there was any truth in it, I’m not sure.
“[Managing Everton] is never a possibility as far as I’m concerned.”
It’s the Spaniard’s first Premier League managerial role since departing Newcastle United in 2019, with former Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti having secured a position at the helm of Real Madrid.
It’s the response we would have expected to come from the former skipper, though one we’re no less relieved to hear after several reports claimed that the ex-No.8 had been contacted regarding the vacant position.
While it’s a shame to see Benitez take the job at Everton we certainly hold no ill will against the former Reds boss.
We can understand the Madrid-born manager wanting not only to the Premier League but also Merseyside given his connection to the city.
More importantly, we know Gerrard would never be swayed by a similar opportunity, as and when it should arise once more.