Jürgen Klopp looks set to reject any approach form a Premier League club in order to take a six-month break from management despite talk linking him with the Liverpool job.
Brendan Rodgers is under pressure to convert Liverpool’s lavish spending into success, and despite The Independent confirming that his job is safe for the time being, a poor start to the new season will raise further questions over his future at Anfield.
But Klopp, who is currently the bookmakers’ favourite to be the next manager at Liverpool once Rodgers’ time in charge comes to an end, looks set to snub any offers in order to take a break from football and recharge his batteries.
Who could Liverpool sign to replace Raheem Sterling?
Who could Liverpool sign to replace Raheem Sterling?
1/7 Felipe Anderson
The Lazio midfielder has enjoyed his breakthrough season in Italy this year, but that has alerted a number of clubs across Europe including Liverpool. The 22-year-old Brazilian is contracted to the Serie A club until 2020 and will therefore cost a significant amount if he were to move this summer, but it’s believed he has the potential to become one of the most dangerous attacking midfielders in the world if he continues his steep development curve.
2/7 Theo Walcott
Arsenal’s pace merchant is finding it hard to break back into the first team after recovering from the ruptured cruciate ligament that sidelined him for over a year. With doubts over his fitness, his suitability to the current Arsenal side and whether he’s a better option compared to his team-mates, rumours have linked him with a dramatic Arsenal exit. Liverpool would be one of the teams in for the England winger, who can also play in attack, and given that his speed can terrify any defence he would be a suitable option to replace Sterling.
3/7 Marco Reus
Any move for Reus appears to be hinged on firing Brendan Rodgers and hiring Jürgen Klopp, and given the noises coming out of Anfield, it’s unlikely to happen this summer. But if another transfer window goes belly-up, don’t be surprised to see Klopp at the club soon after with Reus in tow. The Germany international is a wonderfully gifted player who combines pace and skill to dazzle defences. He has struggled with a persistent ankle injury in recent months, but he would add a proven quality to the Liverpool ranks.
4/7 Divock Origi
Rodgers already knows one signing he will see arrive at Anfield in the summer as Belgium striker Divock Origi will complete the permanent move he agreed last year, having spent the season on loan with Lille. Rodgers could look to revert to the tactics he deployed last season when he had Luis Suarez to pair up with Daniel Sturridge, and although Origi is nowhere near the level Suarez was at present, the Northern Irishman will hope he has unearthed a gem when he arrives in the Premier League.
5/7 Alexandre Lacazette
The French forward is being courted by the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea, but Liverpool could look to show a sign of intent by launching a bid for him before their rivals. Lacazette is equally adept at playing as a striker or out wide, and it would depend on how Rodgers would choose to deploy him to where he would feature. The France international has helped Lyon secure second in Ligue 1 and will finish the season as top goalscorers barring any heroics from Andre-Pierre Gignac, who trails by six goals.
6/7 Jeremy Menez
Menez’s brother and agent has fuelled talk of a move away from AC Milan by admitting he is likely to leave this summer, and even addressed rumours of a move to Liverpool as well as Monaco. However, at this point in time they are just rumours, and despite being able to play out wide he is more suited to an attacking role through the middle.
7/7 Ezequiel Lavezzi
The Argentine has fallen off the radar in recent months, but his future at Paris Saint-Germain remains far from certain and a move to the Premier League has always appeared on the cards. At home out wide on the wing, Lavezzi can also do a job up front, and would bring a physicality to the attack that is currently missing in Sterling, Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Ibe.
According to German newspaper Bild, Klopp will take a six-month sabbatical before assessing his options, having guided Borussia Dortmund to a 3-2 victory in his final game in charge on Saturday that secured seventh in the Bundesliga.
One of those options could turn out to be Dormtund’s rivals Bayern Munich, and Klopp admitted that he could see himself as manager of the German champion at some point in the future.
Asked if the job suited his ambitions, Klopp said: “Yeah. I am a football coach. I want to work for a while, but at the moment it is difficult.”
The 47-year-old also hinted that the Real Madrid vacancy, which was made by Carlo Ancelotti’s sacking on Monday night, does interest him despite the club wanting a new manager who is fluent in Spanish.
“I can [speak] almost every German dialect, so I can learn Spanish - if I have to,” Klopp added tongue-in-cheek given that Rafael Benitez is likely to take the job as early as Monday.
Klopp also had a parting message for the Dortmund fans that gave him an overwhelming send-off on Saturday, with a giant tifo tribute showing a picture of the German alongside the words “Danke Jürgen”.
“Our seven years of being together ends next week,” said the departing Dortmund manager on a big screen inside the Signal Iduna Park. “We are together for the last time in this stadium, which has become my home.
“My coaching team and I were fortunate enough to come here in 2008 and if ever there was a win-win situation in football then this has been it. I take with me a bag full of the most positive memories and I hope you are too.”
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