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Danny Murphy admitted his surprise that former Liverpool teammate Steven Gerrard turned down a job in Saudi Arabia.

On Monday Gerrard revealed that he was invited to the Middle East by Saudi Pro League club Al-Ettifaq, who made the Reds legend an offer to become their new manager.

But the 43-year-old, who has been out of a job since being sacked by Aston Villa in October, decided against it after a few days of deliberation.

Murphy is happy he did and suggested it’s because there might be ‘something in the pipeline’ for Gerrard in England as he aims to make his return to the dugout.

“I was a tad surprised if I’m honest,” Murphy told talkSPORT.

“I thought while he was over there that the lucrative aspect of it and the way they would have made him feel welcome and wanted, I thought he might get reeled in.

“But he’s shown some courage and substance.

“The one thing I know about Stevie, and he’s been the same all his life, is he loves football, he loves a challenge and he loves trying to prove people wrong.

“He did that journey amazingly well as a footballer, and as a manager he took some steps forward and then he’s gone backwards.

“So he’s going to have to take challenge that maybe he didn’t anticipate he was going to have to take when he started flying at Rangers.

“Maybe there’s something in the pipeline that we didn’t know about and he’s going to challenge himself to do that, which I think long-term will be beneficial to him.”

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