LONDON (Reuters) – Former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has been invited to train at the club during the American close-season, manager Juergen Klopp said on Wednesday.
A report in The Independent said that Gerrard, who joined Los Angeles Galaxy at the end of last season after 17 years with Liverpool, could possibly play again for the Merseysiders on loan or even following a transfer.
Klopp, though, dampened expectations of a playing return ahead of Thursday’s Europa League game at Rubin Kazan.
“I can say I have had contact with Stevie,” Klopp told reporters.
“We’ve had one phone call and a few messages. Of course, I said the door is always open. Stevie is a legend and it’s clear that is if he is here in Liverpool and is young enough and healthy enough to want to train for the next season in LA, then absolutely no problem.
“That’s clear, but nothing else. He didn’t ask and I don’t have to think about this. He is an LFC legend and our doors are always open.”
The midfielder, who made more than 700 appearances for Liverpool, is due back in LA for pre-season training in January.
Gerrard still has a year left on his 18-month contract with Galaxy and any attempt to release him from that would involve a significant transfer fee, according to British media reports.
The 35-year-old admitted in a recent autobiography that he would have stayed at Anfield had he been offered a chance to start coaching while continuing to play.
He said this week that next year could be his last as a player.
Liverpool are second in Europa League Group B after drawing all three of their opening matches.
Klopp has taken a strong squad to Russia for Thursday’s game and is looking to build momentum after last weekend’s 3-1 victory at Chelsea.
“We know that it’s pretty hard tomorrow so that’s why we are here, that’s why for us the Europa League is a very, very big challenge because all of these teams in this tournament have their targets,” Klopp said.
“But we have our targets and that’s the only thing I’m interested in.”
(Reporting by Steve Tongue and Toby Davis; Editing by Ed Osmond)