Premier League • England

Arne Slot favourite announces Liverpool negotiations despite making 140 Everton appearances

Arne Slot has now officially taken charge of Liverpool

Arne Slot has now officially taken charge of Liverpool

Liverpool head coach Arne Slot has urged the club to bring in former Everton player Johnny Heitinga, and the Dutchman has now confirmed that ‘talks’ are underway.

Slot was announced as Liverpool’s new boss in May, following Jurgen Klopp’s decision to step down and take a break from management. Slot has now officially begun work at Liverpool, preparing the side for the 2024-25 campaign as they look to add more silverware to their illustrious trophy cabinet.

Slot will work with sporting director Richard Hughes and Fenway Sports Group’s football CEO Michael Edwards on transfers. Liverpool have yet to announce any new arrivals this summer, though the likes of Thiago and Joel Matip have departed.

In terms of new signings, recent reports have stated Liverpool are interested in Manchester United-linked Gleison Bremer, Turkey’s Euro 2024 ace Baris Alper Yilmaz and Newcastle United winger Anthony Gordon.

DON’T MISS: Six Liverpool issues Arne Slot needs to fix next season to turn Reds into title challengers

But Slot and Liverpool are also looking to overhaul the coaching department. Earlier on Monday, it emerged that Liverpool have identified Heitinga as a potential new first-team coach.

Slot views Heitinga as one of the best young Dutch coaches around, as he has worked at West Ham United and Ajax since hanging up his boots in 2016.

When asked about a potential link-up with Slot, the 40-year-old told Dutch reporters: “I’m in talks with Liverpool.

“All I can say now is that I have been approached and that my agent Rob Jansen and I are in discussions.”

Liverpool latest: Johnny Heitinga confirms Reds approach

Heitinga moving to Anfield would be a surprise switch due to his connections with Everton. The former defender was on Everton’s books between September 2009 and January 2014. He made 140 appearances for the Toffees in that period and chipped in with five goals.

But Heitinga could now cross the city divide by working under Slot at Liverpool. He would likely become a defensive coach and help ensure that the Reds do not concede a host of goals next term as they try to win back the Premier League title.

Heitinga, who won 87 caps for the Netherlands during his playing days, could take inspiration from ex-Liverpool coach Pep Lijnders.

The latter worked as Klopp’s assistant manager across two successful spells for the club and built up a great reputation. After learning that Klopp had decided to leave Liverpool, Lijnders followed him out of the exit door and pursued his own career as a first-team manager.

Lijnders has since taken charge of Red Bull Salzburg and will try to help them win more Austrian silverware while also doing well in European competitions.

Liverpool’s pursuit of Heitinga will likely draw comparisons with Manchester United’s deal to bring in their former striker Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Van Nistelrooy has been a free agent since leaving his role as PSV boss in May 2023. The 48-year-old has now agreed to become a member of Erik ten Hag’s backroom staff, and sources have confirmed to TEAMtalk that Man Utd view him as a potential manager, should Ten Hag be sacked at some point in the future.

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