Jurgen Klopp believes Ralf Rangnick’s imminent arrival at rivals Manchester United is “not good news” for Liverpool and the rest of the Premier League.
After sacking Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Sunday, United are close to an interim appointment. And Klopp’s fellow German is set to be installed at Old Trafford on a deal until the end of the season. Rangnick has had some influence on the Liverpool boss in terms of the pressing style which has been so successful for him. And Klopp knows exactly what to expect from the 63-year-old.
“It’s a bit tricky, we usually don’t talk until they are confirmed,” said Klopp at Friday’s news conference.
“It’s obviously a really experienced manager, built famously two clubs from nowhere to proper forces in Germany – Hoffenheim and Leipzig.
“The first concern is always a coach and that is what he is.
“Unfortunately a good coach is coming to England, that’s how it is, to Manchester United.
“Ralf is obviously a really experienced manager. United will be organised on the pitch, we should realise that – that’s obviously not good news for other teams.
“He is highly regarded with the coaches. Where he has been he has done incredible jobs. He started as a young man at Stuttgart and then made his way up.
“I faced him when I was a young coach. He might have forgot that, but he called me a lot at Mainz.”
Asked about his team news ahead of Saturday’s Premier League clash with Southampton, Klopp said: “It’s much better. A week or 10 days ago we had two-and-a-half midfielders.
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“Now that looks different. We could use the Porto game to give some minutes. First time in a while, I have to make decisions, which is actually cool.”
Klopp: Hasenhuttl has got a proper team
Naby Keita, Harvey Elliott and Roberto Firmino are all still missing through injury.
“My phone didn’t ring this morning about any issues. The players available v Porto are the ones for this weekend.”
Klopp says he expects a flexible Saints side to arrive at Anfield and a “proper team”.
“Ralph [Hasenhuttl] is obviously organising a proper team there. They maybe expect not to have majority of possession, they start very often 4-4-2 and can change to five at the back in the game.
“They are a very well drilled team. We have to be creative to break them down.
“It’s a home game so we need to create the right atmosphere. We need to use it because they can counter, really active full backs, wingers who come inside.
“All strikers are a proper threat. Southampton are a good team and the Premier League is so strong even if you’re good you’re not at the top,” added Klopp.