BREAKING NEWS: Liverpool confirm Gerrard will take over Under-18s

Southampton v Manchester City - Premier League - St Mary's Stadium

Liverpool have confirmed former captain Steven Gerrard will take charge of the Under-18s side next season.

Reports linking Gerrard, who returned as an academy coach in February, to the U18s emerged in early April, with first-team manager Jurgen Klopp later confirming he would move into an unspecified new role next season.

The club have now announced the 36-year-old, who scored 186 goals in 710 appearances in a 17-year playing career at Liverpool that included nine major trophies, will be granted sole control of a youth team.

Gerrard replaces Neil Critchley, who moves to the U23s.

"I have really enjoyed my time at the academy so far and feel I have learnt a lot from the coaching staff here already," he told Liverpool's official website.

"After speaking to Alex [Inglethorpe, academy director], we feel as though it is time for me to step up and manage my own team.

"Neil has done a fantastic job with the Under-18s, so I hope I can continue where he left off, encouraging and nurturing players into the Under-23s and eventually the first-team setup."