Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been told to abandon plans to bring former captain Steven Gerrard back to Anfield amid reports linking the midfielder with a move away from Los Angeles Galaxy. Speculation has the 35-year-old returning to Merseyside in a playing role just five months after his Reds departure.
The Independent understands that Klopp has already held talks with Gerrard over a position at the club's Melwood training ground, where he would initially only train with the first team – however an agreement to return as a player has not been ruled out.
Galaxy, who are expecting Gerrard back for pre-season training on 15 January, are unwilling to broker loan a deal similar to the one that saw David Beckham twice move to AC Milan during the Major League Soccer off-season. They would demand a transfer fee if Gerrard is to rejoin Liverpool in a playing capacity.
Gerrard's first campaign with the MLS giants has ended prematurely following their exit from the play-offs, which opens the door to an early return to Liverpool. Despite scoring just two goals in 14 appearances for the club coached by Bruce Arena, Gerrard feels he can still make a valuable contribution at Anfield but will seek advice from friends and family before making a decision.
However, former Germany midfielder Dietmar Hamann, who played alongside Gerrard at Liverpool from 1999 to 2006, believes Klopp could do without the distraction. The club are already without Jordan Henderson due to injury and Hamann says Klopp is a further absentee away from being inundated with questions over signing Gerrard on a long-term basis.
"Klopp has had a decent start and what he needs now is peace and quiet," he told Talksport. "We all know what Steven Gerrard did for [Liverpool], but even if he does train at the club, if a central midfielder gets injured, Lucas gets injured or Joe Allen gets injured or a couple get injured the first question at the press conference on a Friday will be, 'are you going to give him a contract?'
"He's got a contact at LA [Galaxy] so there would be a transfer fee. I think the last thing Klopp needs is constant speculation about Steven Gerrard, something which you don't have to do. I'm not sure even training with them is a good idea."