Belfast Telegraph

Gerrard's Liverpool future not as player, says Klopp

By Carl Markham

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has ruled out any chance of Steven Gerrard playing for the club again.

However, the German would be happy to welcome him back in another capacity once his contract with Los Angeles Galaxy is over.

A report suggested there was a prospect the 35-year-old midfielder, currently in the Major League Soccer off-season, could don the red shirt again after a conversation with Klopp about training with the squad now he is back in England.

But the manager said that was not a likely prospect, although he is happy to honour the agreement Gerrard had with former manager Brendan Rodgers to train at the club's Melwood base while he is home.

"I spoke with Stevie. One phone call and a few messages. He is a very nice guy I must say," said Klopp, who has yet to meet Gerrard in person.

"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.

"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 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, maybe, if he has some."

Klopp has taken his strongest side to Russia for the Europa League match against Rubin Kazan tonight with the inclusion of youngsters - including Pedro Chirivella, Cameron Brannagan and back-up goalkeeper Ryan Fulton - kept to a minimum.

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 the team 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 by three points and are ahead of Kazan by only a point with Bordeaux to follow in their final home game ahead of a trip to Switzerland in December.

Klopp was reminded of one of his oft-repeated phrases about wanting to play "heavy metal" football at former club Borussia Dortmund when asked how he would describe Liverpool's musical style.

"We have to work to create a new kind of music but we are in a good way."

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland 21-year-old right-back Ryan McLaughlin was called back from his own loan to Aberdeen. Klopp wishes to assess him before sending him quickly back out to his club.

Belfast Telegraph


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