Steven Gerrard not forced out by Liverpool - John Barnes

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Steven Gerrard 'excited' over move to MLS

Former Liverpool winger John Barnes does not believe Steven Gerrard was pushed out of the club.

Gerrard, 34, will leave the Reds this summer when his contract expires, with the prospect of playing fewer games the reason for his decision.

His former team-mate Jamie Carragher says the club should have done more to keep him.

"I don't think that they are forcing Steven out," Barnes told BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek programme.

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Gerrard in 'turmoil' over Liverpool exit

"I think that he has decided that he wants to play more regularly than it has probably been intimated to him that he will, so he has decided to move on.

"I don't think that Liverpool should have been held to ransom to say give Steven Gerrard anything he wants to stay. When you do get to a certain stage of your career things change."

Barnes would have preferred Gerrard to stay at Anfield even if it meant the ex-England captain would not have played as much as he would have wanted.

Instead, Gerrard says he will move to the United States, with a Major League Soccer club set to be his next destination.

"I'm sure Liverpool would like him to stay but obviously under different circumstances in terms of the contract he will be offered with the finances," said Barnes.

"I suppose Steven will then have to maybe accept that he will probably not play as much as he would like.

"He has felt he does not want to stay under those circumstances so he leaves but that is fine as everybody's career comes to an end."

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