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Saturday 10 December 2016

Klopp winning race for 'Pool job

Jurgen Klopp and Carlo Ancelotti are the two frontrunners for the Liverpool job.
Jurgen Klopp and Carlo Ancelotti are the two frontrunners for the Liverpool job.

Liverpool have taken steps to sound out Jurgen Klopp about taking up the managerial reins at Anfield.

Brendan Rodgers was sacked as Reds boss less than two hours after Sunday's 1-1 draw in the Merseyside derby, and owners Fenway Sports Group are moving quickly to secure his replacement.

Klopp, out of work having taken a sabbatical after leaving Borussia Dortmund last season, was immediately installed as the favourite having been touted by fans as Rodgers' successor even before his dismissal. The odds on the 48-year-old plummeted to as low as 1/10 yesterday.

Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre is understood to be liaising closely with the club's United States-based ownership group - principal owner John W Henry, Reds chairman Tom Werner and FSG president Mike Gordon - over the recruitment process which they hope to have completed before the players return from international break next week.

Henry had personal involvement in the last appointment, being pictured meeting Roberto Martinez for coffee in Miami before the Spaniard withdrew himself from the process, but, having opted for a young manager with potential back in 2012, FSG are now inclined to appoint someone who has a proven record.

Klopp won two Bundesliga titles and reached a Champions League final and is seen by many as the ideal fit at Anfield, with plenty of parallels being drawn with his spell with Dortmund, restoring the fortunes of a club which had lost its way.

However, despite the clamour for Klopp and his position as the outright favourite, Liverpool will keep their options open, although the available three-time Champions League winner Carlo Ancelotti is widely viewed as less of a good match than his German rival.

Former Germany midfielder Stefan Effenberg believes his compatriot and good friend is suited to taking the Liverpool job.

"He gave me this answer a couple of weeks ago. He said: 'I'm ready for a team that's not on the highest level, to create something, to build something up'. This could be Liverpool, right?" he said.

And speaking at the Aspire For Sport conference in Berlin, he added: "Liverpool is one of the greatest atmospheres. It's pretty much the same as Dortmund.

"The fans stay with everything behind the club and this is what Jurgen Klopp likes and what he needs.

"So maybe, very soon, we'll hear something from Jurgen Klopp, to make a decision, maybe, for Liverpool."

Rodgers, meanwhile, said in a statement: "The current squad is one in transition, but they have some real talent and are showing a strong sense of togetherness. I expect to see them continue to grow and develop over the coming weeks and I wish them and my successor well for the rest of the season."

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