Swansea City midfielder Jonjo Shelvey says Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and captain Steven Gerrard both made last ditch attempts to prevent him moving to the Liberty Stadium. The England international moved to the Swans in the summer of 2013 for an initial fee of £5m after scoring seven goals in 69 appearances for the Reds during three seasons at Anfield.
Shelvey comes face-to-face with his former club for the fifth time since leaving Merseyside and admits upon Liverpool's visit to South Wales that Rodgers and Gerrard made personal pleas to the 23-year-old to remain at the club.
"I was on the way to Swansea and he [Rodgers] told me I didn't have to go," said Shelvey on his departure from Liverpool. "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. 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.
"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. 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."
Shelvey's record after nearly three terms at Swansea is almost identical to that which he left Liverpool with two years ago, having netted nine goals in 66 appearances for Garry Monk's team, who are looking to jump into eighth with victory over the Champions League chasers.