Steven Gerrard is highly unlikely to return on loan to Liverpool in January, according to MLS commissioner Don Garber.
Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre hinted earlier this year that a temporary return for the club’s former captain was conceivable, while other reports suggested that the idea had already been discussed.
But speaking at the Soccerex conference in Manchester, Garber played down the possibility of a loan return to Anfield for the 35-year-old LA Galaxy midfielder.
When asked of the possibility of Gerrard leaving on loan, Garber replied: “I don’t think so. And I had not heard that was something that was being contemplated.
“I don’t think it’s positive for the brand we’re trying to build to have players leave in the middle of the season or come late because they are going out on loan,” the MLS commissioner told Sky Sports News HQ.
“Someone who is going to be out on loan for the whole year – like they do in the rest of the world – that’s something that players and teams can talk to each other about.
“It was part of the dynamic of MLS many years ago. Part of that was simply because the league hadn’t developed enough from a competitive perspective and there was the view that players had to go and play at a more competitive level. That doesn’t necessarily exist today.”
Asked if he had the power to veto a potential loan move for Gerrard, Garber said: “The absolute power, the answer is yes, the practical power, the answer is no and we’ve never stopped that in the past.
“But I would expect today – where fans really, really care about their clubs and their players – that no team would sign a player thinking he would leave in the middle of the season or come late.”