Brendan Rodgers refused to be drawn on whether Liverpool would look to bring Steven Gerrard back to club on loan when his season with LA Galaxy finishes.
Gerrard has announced he will be moving to the MLS club when the season ends, and with the American season running from March until December, it remains to be seen as to what Gerrard will do this time next year.
“I won’t speculate on if he comes back. He’s still a Liverpool player,” the manager said.
Earlier today Reds chief executive Ian Ayre insisted the club had made a ‘substantial’ offer to make Gerrard stay, whilst also revealing a loan return to Anfield was not out of the question.
He said: “We put a substantial offer to Steven to stay, which was of course very respectful. I think he’s been very open in the media in saying that it wasn’t about the contract or the money, as you would expect from Steven.
“When you go through that process at the end of a player’s career, it’s very different to going through it in the middle or the start. We had the same thing with Jamie (Carragher) a couple of years ago.
“At that end of the programme it is not really about what Liverpool Football Club wants, it is about what Steven Gerrard wants. He ultimately made that decision himself.
“I’ve said openly to Steven and his representatives, as have Brendan and the owners, that we see Steven as part of the family,” he said. “The fact that he’s leaving at the end of the season doesn’t mean it’s the last we’ll see of him at Liverpool.
“What that means, the details aren’t known yet. But we will keep a regular dialogue with him, and I hope we will see him here again in the long term.”
Asked if that could mean a return on loan next January, Ayre said: “It’s conceivable. It happens a lot in MLS, and it’s something we talked to Steven and his representatives about.
“You can’t have someone who has so much of the club’s DNA in them, and just expect that it will go away.”