Blues coach Avram Grant admitted: "Gerrard is a great player and a great person. For me, he is the player of the year in England, and maybe in Europe, because of the influence he has on the team. I like him very much as a player and I know him. He is a nice guy and an example to others. He plays against me, but he's still my favourite player."
Grant added that he greatly admired the England midfielder's versatility, pointing to his success in a new role, playing off Fernando Torres, Liverpool's main striker. He said: "I'm not surprised; he has the quality to play in any position. In the one he is in now he probably feels more free."
Reminded that Jose Mourinho had tried to sign him twice, Grant said: "If you can bring him to me, I will be happy."
Rebuffed twice, Chelsea believe they could get their man this time because Gerrard is known to be unhappy about Liverpool's continued failure in the Premier League, and is appalled by the boardroom feud at Anfield.