LONDON • Juergen Klopp has played down the chances of Steven Gerrard playing for Liverpool again but said he would welcome back the former captain in another capacity once his contract with Los Angeles Galaxy is over.
A report suggested there was a chance that the 35-year-old, now back in England during the Major League Soccer off-season, would rejoin Liverpool's playing staff after a conversation with Klopp about training with the squad.
However, the manager said that was not a likely prospect, although he is happy to honour the agreement Gerrard had with the German's predecessor, Brendan Rodgers, to train at the club's Melwood base while the player is back in Merseyside.
"I spoke with Stevie. One phone call and a few messages.
"He is a very nice guy, I must say," said Klopp. "He's a Liverpool legend, of course, but his contract as I know is in the USA. But now his break starts 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.
"Do I think he should play at this moment or next year? No. Why did you ask me?
"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. 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 Premier League season.
"Everything is fine, perfect between LFC and Stevie, but I don't know him until now and I'm looking forward to the moment we meet each other and we'll talk about his ideas for the future.
"The door is always open."
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.
The midfielder 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.
THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS