Premier League • England

Jurgen Klopp discusses Liverpool stay as verdict on spectacular U-turn is reached

Jurgen Klopp is departing as Liverpool manager at the end of the season

Jurgen Klopp is departing as Liverpool manager at the end of the season

Jurgen Klopp has made clear that he does not intend to reverse his decision on quitting as Liverpool manager at the end of the season, despite hailing their emerging young pool of the talent as the best he has seen during his time at Anfield.

The Reds are on the look-out for a replacement for Klopp, who went public towards the end of January with his bombshell news that this will be his last at Liverpool. Following close to nine glorious years at the helm, Klopp has already out seven major trophies in the Anfield trophy cabinet and is striving for more as he bids for his best season yet at Anfield.

The hunt for his successor is already well underway with FSG appointing a man known as the ‘world’s greatest leader’ in Theo Epstein to lead that hunt.

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And while several high-calibre candidates are seemingly under consideration – including the likes of Ruben Amorim, Roberto De Zerbi and Julian Nagelsmann – the name on everyone’s lips appears to be Xabi Alonso.

However, FSG have been warned about the possible danger of sleepwalking into Alonso’s appointment and why they have to be careful that the  Spaniard is both the right candidate and indeed ready for the job, given he is only midway through his second senior year of football management.

Regardless of whom gets the job, FSG are determined to do their due dilligence for the role and negotiations behind closed doors to ensure Klopp is not distracted from his mission to sign off with four trophies.

Academy kids Danns, Bradley, Quansah ensure Liverpool future is bright

There is also the fact that Liverpool do not want to cause ruptures at clubs whose boss they are being linked with, especially since Alonso can lead Bayer Leverkusen 10 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga with a win at Cologne on Sunday.

Leverkusen have never won the Bundesliga crown in their entire 119-year-history and the last thing Liverpool want to do is be the cause of a potential end-of-season collapse at the BayArena by unsettling Alonso and their squad.

In the meantime, Klopp can walk away knowing his successor will inherit arguably the greatest squad in the club’s history, together with a thriving academy that looks set to save the Reds millions in transfer fees.

To that end, the likes of Connor Bradley, Jayden Danns, Lewis Koumas and Bobby Clarke have all had an impact on the Reds’ first-team squad in recent weeks.

Jarell Quansah is another young star who has thrived and he’s already made 21 appearances in all competitions this season.

Seeing the next generation thrive is always a pleasing aspect for any manager and it’s been reported their development could even see Klopp reverse his decision to walk away from Anfield to ensure they continue on the right path.

Klopp explains reasons for sticking by Liverpool exit decision

However, the 56-year-old is adamant his decision to walk away from Anfield remains his final choice and there won’t be a spectacular U-turn on that.

“It has nothing to do with (the youngsters),” Klopp said. “If it would be about the people around me, I love my ‘more senior’ players as well.

“I will miss them 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.”

Liverpool go into Saturday’s clash at Nottingham Forest with a chance to move four points clear of Man City in second, with Pep Guardiola’s side up against Manchester United in the derby on Sunday.

The Reds have been blighted by several key injuries to star men this season, though could welcome back Dominik Szoboszlai, Darwin Nunez, Wataru Endo and Andy Robertson for the clash at the City Ground.

Mo Salah faces a late test to see if he can be involved, but regardless of the Egyptian’s availability, Klopp was feeling upbeat going into the game.

“Darwin and Dom trained on Thursday with the team. We’ll see how they react. Wataru and Robbo didn’t but there’s a plan they join today.”

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