Steven Gerrard says the forthcoming Major League Soccer season could well be his last before a move into coaching.
The former England captain, 35, has hailed the assistance afforded to him and other Three Lions stars of the recent past by the Football Association in preparing for a career in coaching.
Gerrard, who is set to line up for Los Angeles Galaxy against DC United in their season-opener on Sunday, March 6, wrote in his Daily Telegraph column: “Nothing is 100 per cent certain yet, but this season at LA Galaxy could be my last as a professional footballer.
“I know I’m in the twilight of my career. I am starting my UEFA A licence shortly and the Football Association are proving to be proactive and hugely encouraging in helping former players onto the coaching ladder.
“I was invited to meet the England Under-19 side earlier in the season and further opportunities are planned in future international breaks. I know players like Rio Ferdinand and Jamie Carragher have received similar invitations. It’s something I’m keen to push further.”
Gerrard has noted the recent spending power of Chinese Super League clubs and believes the Asian country could be a major rival to MLS in trying to attract players like John Terry – who has announced he will leave Chelsea at the end of the season – away from the mainstream European leagues.
“There are some incredible figures being written about and it has to be a concern to a lot of leagues around the world – not least the MLS – trying to lure big names from Europe,” he wrote.
“I suspect some players who are thinking of leaving the Premier League who would once have looked to the USA will be looking to China instead.
“I would recommend to anyone finishing up in England in the near future to look to the MLS before seeing the financial possibilities in China… but I must admit John Terry has not picked up the phone and asked me about the MLS yet.
“I’m wondering if there are a few lads in the Premier League who are turning up at Mandarin language classes instead!”