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Friday 24 January 2020

Klopp says there's more to achieve after inking new contract

Jurgen Klopp. Photo: John Sibley
Jurgen Klopp. Photo: John Sibley
Takumi Minamino. Photo: Reuters

Runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool have given manager Jurgen Klopp a new contract.

The German has signed an improved deal through to 2024, the Reds announced yesterday.

Klopp, who moved to Anfield in 2015, guided Liverpool to the Champions League title in June and currently has them eight points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Assistant managers Peter Krawietz and Pepijn Lijnders have also agreed deals.

"For me personally this is a statement of intent, one which is built on my knowledge of what we as a partnership have achieved so far and what is still there for us to achieve," the 52-year-old told Liverpool's official website.

"When I see the development of the club and the collaborative work that continues to take place, I feel my contribution can only grow.

"People see what happens on the pitch as a measure of our progress and although it is the best measure, it's not the only measure. I have seen the commitment from ownership through to every aspect and function of the club you can think of.

"When the call came in autumn 2015, I felt we were perfect for each other; if anything, now I feel I underestimated that. It is only with a total belief that the collaboration remains totally complementary on both sides that I am able to make this commitment to 2024."

Klopp, whose side face Watford today, added there is nowhere else he would rather be.

"This club is in such a good place, I couldn't contemplate leaving," the former Borussia Dortmund boss added.

Titles

"I must also highlight the role of our sporting director, Michael Edwards, in this journey so far. His input and collaboration has been just as important as anyone else's in getting us into a position to compete for the game's top titles.

"For anyone in football who aspires to compete in an environment where every element of the organisation is at its very best - from the support of the supporters to the vision of the owners - there can be no better place than this."

Klopp would not be drawn on the impending January arrival of Japan international, Takumi Minamino.

"A very good player, I can say that, but I saw a few very good players on the Salzburg team, much more than I wanted," he said, before giving the game away by telling a Japanese journalist "maybe we will see you more often now".

Klopp is down to just two fit centre-backs for the foreseeable future after Dejan Lovren was ruled out with a hamstring problem.

The Croatia international, who had suffered what was believed to be cramp in last weekend's win at Bournemouth, was forced off in Tuesday's victory over Salzburg and left the stadium limping.

On Lovren's availability ahead of the visit of Watford, Klopp said: "Out. He has a muscle injury, worse than last time. No time-frame. He's out."

With Joel Matip still probably at least two weeks away from a return from a knee injury it leaves just Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez as his two fit central defenders.

"It's a concern. At the moment we have two and we need to take care of them and wrap them in cotton wool and ask how they want to train," Klopp added.

"We have the kids too - Ki-Jana (Hoever) and Sepp (Van Den Berg)."

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