Henderson hopeful that Gerrard will stay

Jordan Henderson is hopeful that Steven Gerrard will remain at Liverpool "for many years to come".

Liverpool captain Gerrard, who has made nearly 700 appearances for the club since making his debut in November 1998, sees his contract expire at the end of this season.

The 34-year-old making a once-unthinkable move away from Anfield has been mooted in recent days, after the former England skipper told the media that it is "Liverpool's decision" whether or not he remains at the club at the end of his current deal.

Manager Brendan Rodgers has since made it clear that he wants Gerrard to stay, saying that the inspirational midfielder is still an "outstanding player" after Liverpool's 1-0 defeat at Newcastle United on Saturday.

And, speaking ahead of Tuesday's key UEFA Champions League game at Real Madrid, Liverpool vice-captain Henderson echoed Rodgers' sentiments.

"Stevie is a massive player for us," said the 24-year-old.

"He is our captain, our leader and a great role model for a lot of younger lads.

"Hopefully he will be a very big player for us for many years to come."

Despite his advancing years, Gerrard has played every minute of Liverpool's 13 Premier League and Champions League fixtures so far this season.

But with Tuesday's daunting match against European champions Real coming just three days after the loss at Newcastle United - and four days prior to Premier League leaders Chelsea's visit to Anfield - Rodgers has hinted that Gerrard could be rested in Madrid. 

"In Steven's case, if he is playing on Saturday I have to look at what is the priority for him and us. If he played against Newcastle and didn't play [against Real], you could say that is the priority," he explained.

"He and I have spoken about that. Three big games - Newcastle, Madrid and then Chelsea.

"I need to look at a number of players to look at the games we want them to play in."