Jonjo Shelvey says Liverpool boss Rodgers wanted him to stay
Swansea's Jonjo Shelvey says Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers tried to persuade him not to leave Anfield in 2013.
Midfielder Shelvey, 23, told BBC Sport Rodgers even called his dad in a last-ditch attempt to halt the move.
"I was on the way to Swansea and he told me I didn't have to go," said Shelvey, who faces his former club in the Premier League on Monday.
"He spent hours on the phone to my dad in an effort to try and get me to stay. But I had made up my mind to come."
Shelvey, who joined Liverpool as an 18-year-old from Charlton in 2010, has had a lively 18 months in south Wales since being signed for £5m by Michael Laudrup in the summer of 2013.
After being criticised for his "laziness" by Swans boss Garry Monk earlier in the season, Shelvey has made an impressive return to the side and is aiming to maintain that form in Monday's match at the Liberty Stadium.
"I feel as though I always do OK against Liverpool but something always happens, whether I score, or give the ball away, or score an own goal. It's just weird. It happens to be against Liverpool," Shelvey said.
|Shelvey's Liverpool reunions|
|Lose 4-1, Anfield, Premier League||Shelvey scores an own goal|
|Lose 2-1, Anfield, Capital One Cup||Liverpool score twice in last five minutes|
|Lose 4-3, Anfield, Premier League||Shelvey scores|
|Draw 2-2, Liberty Stadium, Premier League||Shelvey scores and assists but makes mistakes leading to both Liverpool goals|
'I wanted the ground to swallow me up'
Shelvey's reunions with his former club have certainly been eventful, not least when he had a hand in all four goals in a 2-2 draw at the Liberty under Laudrup two months after leaving the Reds. After scoring 87 seconds into the match, he made two sloppy passes that led to Liverpool goals.
"I can remember sitting in my seat just wanting the ground to swallow me up at half-time. I didn't want to go back out on the pitch," Shelvey recalls.
"But then the gaffer said he was going to make a substitution and I thought 'yes I can get off the pitch'. But I'd have been going off the pitch knowing I'd been a failure. Luckily I went back out, rolled my sleeves up, and came through a sticky patch."
'Gerrard wanted me to stay too'
Despite Rodgers' attempts to keep him at Anfield, Shelvey says the Anfield boss gave him his blessing to move to a team the Northern Irishman had previously managed.
"I will always be grateful to Brendan because he was honest and said he couldn't offer me the game-time I wanted and needed. He had a great relationship with Swansea and he told me they would be a perfect fit for me if I did want to leave," Shelvey said.
Rodgers was not the only one at Anfield who held Shelvey in high esteem, with club captain Steven Gerrard also apparently keen for the midfielder to remain at the club.
"I was living next door to Stevie at the time and I texted him to say I was going down to Swansea. He asked me to really consider it. It is a big thing for someone like me to get someone like him saying that to me," said Shelvey.
"But I wanted to play football and I wanted to know that if you had one bad game after three or four good games you are not going to come out of the team."
Addressing his attitude
One of the low points of Shelvey's Swansea career was being publicly told to "wise up" by Monk. Such has been the improvement in Shelvey's attitude since then that his manager now believes the midfielder can play for England.
"I know a lot gets twisted round in terms of media - he explained to me what he meant by it, and we cleared the air, and I feel I have benefited from him coming out and saying those words," Shelvey said.
"It was only two or three days ago that he said he thought I should get another England call-up. So times change in football, and you have to learn from what your managers says, and kick on. I feel like my attitude is a lot better and I probably owe that to the gaffer here."