Saturday 16 December 2017

Liverpool to appoint Jurgen Klopp on three-year deal as German agrees to become manager

German manager has been the Liverpool owners' dream managerial choice ever since taking over the club as far back as 2010

Jürgen Klopp
Jürgen Klopp
Liverpool owner John W. Henry
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers waves to fans before the game

Liverpool plan to confirm Jürgen Klopp’s appointment as manager by the end of the week after the German coach indicated he will accept the club’s offer to move to Anfield.

Klopp’s recruitment now looks a formality with negotiations expected to be completed over the next few days. The former Borussia Dortmund manager has no qualms about working within the existing club structure and it is understood that he will sign a three‑year deal. It is expected that he will head to Merseyside in the next 48 hours for further negotiations, with an announcement possible as soon as Friday.

READ MORE: 'Jurgen Klopp is a perfect match for Liverpool if he wants the job'

The Liverpool owners, Fenway Sports Group, are moving swiftly to secure Klopp, twice a Bundesliga winner as coach, to ensure that he has a week to prepare for the next Premier League fixture with Tottenham Hotspur.

Klopp, 48, did not disguise his eagerness to discuss the position and he has long been seen as FSG’S prototype manager. He was their dream choice on taking over the club as far back as 2010 but Klopp was out of their reach as he enjoyed his peak spell in German football. Liverpool wanted him again when Kenny Dalglish was dismissed in 2012 but were frustrated as Klopp remained loyal to Dortmund.

READ MORE: Klopp winning race for 'pool job

 His availability now is undoubtedly a key reason for the departure of Brendan Rodgers so soon into this campaign. There was a realisation that a manager of Klopp’s calibre would not be on the market for long, with numerous clubs pursuing him. The appreciation is mutual, with Klopp having made it clear that Liverpool were one of the few clubs that could tempt him to end a year’s sabbatical. This helped to focus minds; Liverpool had to grasp the nettle.

Liverpool owner John W. Henry

John W. Henry

Liverpool’s players return to training today, overseen by coaches Gary McAllister and Sean O’Driscoll. Having been appointed by Rodgers last summer, the staff face an uncertain future as they wait to see if there is any job for them following another overhaul.

Klopp will be allowed to hire his own backroom team comprising those who worked with him in Dortmund. They are likely to include Peter Krawietz, who was Klopp’s assistant at the Westfalenstadion and the Bosnian Zeljko Buvac.

Liverpool do not want their academy to be affected by the managerial changes, however. Alex Inglethorpe, whom Rodgers appointed to oversee the youth structure, has been informed that his job is not under review. It remains to be seen if he decides to stay following his friend’s departure, but Liverpool cannot afford further instability in their junior ranks.

The Anfield hierarchy must also decide whether to take the opportunity to reintroduce one of their modern legends to the coaching staff. Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher were expected to be offered positions once they stopped playing for Liverpool but none materialised. Although Carragher has media commitments, Gerrard’s first season at LA Galaxy ends in December (at the latest). He was offered the chance to train back at Anfield once the North American season ends but that was under Rodgers.

 Now there is a chance to discuss the possibility of a back-room role for the former captain. Gerrard would have a decision to make early in his LA career if Klopp was receptive to the idea of him completing his coaching education back on home turf.

A combination of continental wisdom and local knowledge has served Liverpool well in the past. The partnership of Gérard Houllier and Phil Thompson maintained the club’s identity at the start of the millennium, while the Rafa Benítez era was at its best when the Spanish tactician had a Scouse heart and soul with him both on the pitch – in Gerrard and Carragher – and his most trusted advisers were connected to the city.

 Rodgers, meanwhile, left England for a break in Spain to recover from the disappointment of losing his job. He released a statement courtesy of the League Managers Association thanking Liverpool for giving him a chance to work at Anfield. “I am, of course, incredibly disappointed to be leaving Liverpool,” Rodgers said.

Former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers

“It has been both an honour and a privilege to manage one of the game’s great clubs for the last three years. 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. Liverpool has a magnificent football heritage and I have nothing but respect and admiration for the history, tradition and values that make the city and the club so exceptional.

“As well as my players, I would like to thank everyone connected with the club; Fenway Sports Group, the Liverpool directors, in particular Ian Ayre, my coaching staff, the staff throughout the club, the volunteers, the academy staff and its young players and of course the amazing Liverpool fans for their unwavering support, passion and dedication, which has made my time at the club so special.

“Finally, I would like to give a special mention to John W. Henry, Tom Werner and Mike Gordon. They gave me this great opportunity and, even though we will no longer be working together, I am sure our relationship and friendship will continue into the future.”

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