Jurgen Klopp rejects talk of playing return for Steven Gerrard
Published 05/11/2015 | 04:36
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp will speak to Steven Gerrard about a role at the club when his contract with Los Angeles Galaxy expires but the conversation will not involve talk of playing.
The 35-year-old midfielder has another year to run on his deal with the Major League Soccer side but his potential return to train at the Reds' Melwood base during the off-season prompted suggestions he could once again wear the red shirt.
Klopp has dismissed any chance of that happening but will welcome back Gerrard with open arms.
"Stevie has a contract with LA Galaxy, he loves this club and he is a legend and when his contract has ended we can talk about different stuff," said the German.
"We will find for sure something for Stevie when he comes back and whatever he wants to do we will help him but not at this moment - we are in the middle of the season.
"Do you think he should play at this moment or next year. No? Why did you ask me?
"I spoke with Stevie; one phone call and a few messages and I told him 'When you are here of course you can come whenever you want, you can train with us if you think it is good for you'.
"Of course our doors are always open for him, that is clear. But nothing else."
Klopp has taken his strongest-possible side to Russia for the Europa League match against Rubin Kazan with the inclusion of youngsters, including the likes of Pedro Chirivella, Cameron Brannagan and back-up goalkeeper Ryan Fulton - kept to a minimum, although defender Connor Randall would also have travelled had he not picked up an injury in training yesterday.
Klopp's policy is different to that of predecessor Brendan Rodgers, who on the club's only other European trip this season left six senior players at home when they flew to Bordeaux in September.
Liverpool, who have had three successive 1-1 draws in Europe this season, at the very least have to avoid defeat in Kazan if they are to avoid a tricky conclusion to their Group B campaign.
They currently trail leaders Sion (on seven points) by three and are ahead of Kazan by only a point with Bordeaux to follow in their final home game ahead a trip to Switzerland in December.
Klopp was asked by a local journalist what he thought of the capital city of the Republic of Tatarstan.
"We are not here for a visit. I hope you will see that tomorrow," he added.
"We know it will be hard tomorrow and that is why the Europa League is a very big challenge.
"We are here to do our best and if we need to work hard for 95, 96 minutes then we shall do this."
Galaxy boss Bruce Arena has dismissed the prospect of Gerrard returning to play for Liverpool as "ridiculous".
In the last week Arena rejected the idea of any of his star players going out on loan during the MLS close season but he went further when asked about suggestions the former England international could return to his old club.
"I don't believe it is at all accurate," he told reporters in California. "There's not any truth to any of this. It's ridiculous."
Arena did, however, welcome the opportunity for Gerrard to train with the Reds while he is back in England.
"Of course," he said. "Why not?"