Premier League • England

Jurgen Klopp discusses Liverpool stay as Edwards is hailed and final verdict is confirmed

Jurgen Klopp is departing as Liverpool manager this summer

Jurgen Klopp is departing as Liverpool manager this summer

Departing Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has made clear that any attempts to convince him to stay are futile, but has explained why the return to Anfield of Michael Edwards gives him added belief that he will leave the Merseysiders in the rudest of health.

The final countdown of Klopp‘s glorious Anfield era is now on, with the Reds boss now only having three months left in charge. The German, though, will depart Merseyside with his legacy as one of the greatest and most charismatic of Liverpool‘s history intact.

Having won seven major honours so far, all at Liverpool hope and believe this could prove Klopp’s most-successful season yet with three more trophies still up for grabs and with the Carabao Cup safely locked away in the Anfield tropy cabinet.

As it stands, the Reds look a shoo-in to qualify for the last eight of the Europa League – the only trophy to have evaded Klopp so far – given they hold a 5-1 advantage over Sparta Prague from the first leg of their round of 16 clash. With the final due to be staged in Dublin on Wednesday May 22, there could be no better way for Klopp to sign off from his near nine years at Anfield with success in that competition.

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There’s also the small matter of the FA Cup too, with a quarter-final trip to Manchester United on the horizon this weekend.

And they are also well placed in the Premier League, nestled right in the thick of a three-team title tussle alongside current leaders Arsenal and reigning three-time champions Manchester City. A second domestic crown of his era would mark the ultimate send-off.

Klopp asked about Liverpool exit U-turn

With a trophy-fuelled end to the season on the cards, a raft of top youngsters coming through, and with the return to the club of triumphant former sporting director Michael Edwards – this time in a new CEO of football role – there has arguably never been a better time to be a Liverpool fan.

It’s just that shadow of Klopp’s impending departure casting that bit of doom beneath the surface and is the elephant in the room all at Liverpool soon know will become a reality.

As a result speculation has swirled that Klopp could be convinced to reverse his decision in shades of Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United before eventually calling it quits in May 2013.

However, when asked if Edwards could persuade him to stay, Klopp has made clear that his decision is final.

“No, because, and it’s very important in his job, he’s not dumb,” Klopp said of Liverpool’s new CEO of football.

“That was not a subject to talk about. Can you imagine if I changed my mind now? Of course not. It would be like when I said I’d never move to another club in England and next year I signed for our neighbours or a club who needs a coach. I don’t say these things without thinking about them before.

“It would mean I realise only now how great this club is – I have known about it all the time. For me it is the best club in the world and I am still leaving anyway. I just want this club to do as well as somehow possible, and I’m really sure [that can happen] if we ­create a good basis with the right people in charge and Michael is a top choice.”

Klopp leaving Liverpool in the best possible health

When Klopp took over at Liverpool way back in October 2015, he inherited a side who were, at the time, struggling around mid-table.

Eight and a half years later, the Reds have seven major trophies in the bag, having also reached four European finals in that time and having one of the most thriving youh-team academies in the country. While Trent Alexander-Arnold – not once (as a right-back) but twice (as a creative midfielder) is undoubtedly the story of his time in charge, there are other hugely-promising talents now breaking through, with Connor Bradley, Jayden Danns, Lewis Koumas and Bobby Clarke among those starting to make their name.

As a result, Klopp is adamant he leaves Anfield at the end of the season with the club in the rudest of health.

“I’ve said a few times that I want to see the club in the best possible place after I’ve left,” Klopp said, before turning back to Edwards.

“I think it is a top solution, ­honestly, and our conversation was great. We spoke about a lot of things, about what I think about different things; ­players, situations in the club because I was here all the time when he was not, what did change and what might have to change.

“It was a really good talk, and it’s top news for the club.”

Speaking previously and when asked if Liverpool’s young talent could see him perform a U-turn, Klopp replied: “I will miss them, the senior players as well. Seeing the young boys coming through, it just gives me a very good feeling for the future of the club, which is much more important than anything. I will miss them and I will follow them.

“It’s not about not wanting (to carry on), it’s about what is right.

“That’s why I do it (leave the club). Not because I don’t like some players and want to leave because of that. Or now there are young players and I like them more and I should stay, it’s not like that either, definitely not.”

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