Michael Owen has claimed that Liverpool wanted to sell Steven Gerrard two years before his eventual move to LA Galaxy, while also claiming that the supposed loyalty that fans expect of footballers is a result of 'blind' support.
Having retired from the game in 2013, after a glittering career that saw him score 222 goals at club level - partly during spells at Real Madrid and Manchester United - along with a further 40 for the England national team.
The former Ballon d'Or has made the headlines recently following the release of his new autobiography 'Reboot', with the latest revelations revolving around his former club and international teammate Gerrard. Owen states that a full two years before the Liverpool legend joined LA Galaxy, the Anfield club were looking to offload the former captain.
"In Steven's case, I severely doubt whether he really wanted to go and play in the States in 2015. I've heard that the club wanted him out two years prior to when he actually left," he said, via the Mirror.
"I'm sure he would rather have wound his career down at Liverpool, playing increasingly fewer games until he reached a point where he could be integrated into the coaching staff. This only happened later in his case. But instead, because he'd become so symbolic and so powerful, I believe he was forced out in the short term. Steven was bigger than the club."
Owen then perceived to launch a scathing attack on fans who are critical of players that don't show loyalty, insisting this is merely a facade that supporters create around their dedication to their team, and in fact not true of footballers.
"Throughout my career, I've heard so many conversations from football fans about which player is loyal and which other player isn't," he added. To me, this is complete b******* and a way of thinking perpetuated by fans that are blind to the badge, as I see it.
"The truth is: most players just aren't as loyal as the fans like to think they are. While they're at their current club, they'll say they're loyal - they have to. But if another, bigger club came in for them offering a deal that could improve the lives of them and their family, then you'd see how loyal they really are."