Jürgen Klopp has invited Steven Gerrard to train with the Liverpool squad over the next two months – but a playing return for the Kop legend is highly unlikely.
Gerrard has flown home to the UK after his first season in Major League Soccer for LA Galaxy ended in heartache with their play-off defeat to Seattle Sounders.
The 35-year-old midfielder will spend November and December on Merseyside with his family and he’s expected to use Melwood’s facilities to maintain his fitness levels.
During a recent conversation when Gerrard called Klopp to wish him good luck in his new job, the manager confirmed that the offer to train with the Reds – initially made by former boss Brendan Rodgers – still stood.
Klopp is expected to meet Gerrard for the first time to discuss it further during the upcoming international break.
However, the ECHO understands there have been no talks about the possibility of Gerrard returning to Liverpool in a playing capacity.
Galaxy boss Bruce Arena has already ruled out the possibility of Gerrard re-signing for the Reds on loan during the January transfer window.
Gerrard is expected to report back for pre-season training in California on January 15.
Klopp has admired Gerrard from afar throughout his glittering career and believes having him back around Melwood would have a positive impact on his squad.
However, even if the German coach did want him to pull on the red shirt again trying to broker a deal would be hugely problematic.
The former Liverpool captain still has a year remaining on the 18-month deal he signed with Galaxy and the MLS outfit expect him to honour it.
Any attempt to release Gerrard from that contract would involve a significant transfer fee.
Gerrard has already indicated that he intends to hang up his boots at the end of the 2016 MLS season when he will be 36.
“It could be my last season as a footballer,” he said. “I’d love to go out on a high.”
Gerrard, who is expected to attend Liverpool’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace at Anfield on Sunday, scored twice in 14 appearances for Galaxy after joining them in July.
He has made no secret of his desire to serve the Reds again and the possibility of a coaching role in future was discussed with chairman Tom Werner before his emotional farewell back in May.
More likely than a playing return for Gerrard is the prospect of him joining Klopp’s backroom staff once he has honoured his commitments in the States next year. He has been working towards obtaining his UEFA B licence.
Werner told the ECHO in May that Gerrard would always have a place at Liverpool – a club he served for 27 years having first joined the youth set-up at the age of eight.
“I don’t see this as goodbye,” Werner said. “I just see this as the end of a remarkable chapter for Steven in terms of his career at Liverpool.
“I’m very hopeful that Steven will return to the club in another role at some stage in the future and his great association with Liverpool will continue.
“It’s true that I’ve spoken to Steven about coming back. We’ve had some discussions which will remain private but we certainly see him as having an important place in the club’s future.
“It’s the values he brings to the club. His dedication and commitment to seeing the club succeed. We want to tap into that.”
Source: Liverpool Echo
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