Premier League • England

Jurgen Klopp set for dramatic change of plan as Liverpool icon’s trusted ally drops major job update

Former Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp

Former Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp

Former Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp may only be a couple of weeks into his new life of relaxation, but his former No 2 at Anfield, Pep Lijnders, has revealed the change of lifestyle may prompt a dramatic long-term change of direction for the Reds icon.

After leading Liverpool for close to nine years, Klopp departed Anfield at the end of the season, though not before a civic ceremony held in his honour looked back on all his achievements and highlights during his time with the club. A hugely-popular figure, Klopp won seven trophies in his time with the club and would have won many more had they fared better in the four European finals they reached as well as not had an uber-talented Manchester City to contend with.

With the 56-year-old’s time coming to an end, speculation has raged over which job the German will take next. But while links to the likes of the Barcelona job and the German national side have come to nothing, Gary Lineker has heard a little whisper about what role Klopp will take next.

Upon his exit from Merseyside, and the day after the evening staged in his honour, Klopp jetted off to Majorca with his wife Ulla, where he owns a luxury £3.4m villa and that is where he intends to stay – for the forseeable future at least.

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Before jetting off, Klopp, who turns 57 on Sunday, gave one final interview where he explained why not returning to work one day is not an option and what his new life will look like.

“I’ve dreamed of having a house in the south all my life. I like the weather, the climate, I like the people. There are lots of things I like here. And also people I already know.”

Majorca villa grants Klopp idyllic new lifestyle

Klopp added: “It’s not like I’m looking for new friends. I already have friends for life, and if some of them are here too, that’s cool.”

Klopp insists, however, that a move to Majorca will not become permanent, but he will use the time to rest and recouperate.

“I don’t want to emigrate. We go on holiday here every now and then. But when I’m here, I want everything to be as I know it. That’s totally boring.

“But the point is that I want to get to know a different life, but not somewhere in the jungle or on the mountain.”

Liverpool suggests his next job in the game may indeed not be as a club football manager after eventually running out of steam while at Anfield.

“It’s out of the question that I’ll stop working altogether,” he continued, before adding: “But I don’t see myself continuing at the same pace as before at the moment.

“A coach is a coach. And you do it with everything you have, or nothing at all. That’s how I understand it. Now I’m taking my time off.

“How am I supposed to know how I’ll feel during or after the time off, and what I want to do then? I have no idea. Let’s wait and see.”

Klopp’s new five-bedroom retreat is located in a remote luxury neighbourhood but is just a 10-minute walk from the exclusive Mallorca Country Club, where members can relax in the facilities, swim, play golf, a spot of tennis etc.

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As such, it is easy to see why any man approaching his 57th birthday could easily get used to such a lifestyle and his former Liverpool No 2, Lijnders – who is due to become RB Salzburg boss after leaving Anfield himself – reckons Klopp could perform a U-turn and could decide to stay for good in his luxury new lifestyle on the Spanish island.

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Speaking to The Athletic, Lijnders stated: “In the life we lead as coaches, and I’ve lived it now for 22 years, nothing else counts apart from the next game,” he said. “You might have one hour of joy before you start thinking about the next game.

“Doing that for so many years at the level Jurgen has managed, you come to an age where you really want to wake up in the morning and just think, ‘What time shall I go to the bakery? Shall I take my bike or the car? What time shall I book that padel court for?’ Simple things!”

While Klopp may not return to football as a manager, he does think his close friend will continue to make a difference in whatever comes next.

“I don’t know if he will manage again but he will do a lot of good things for the world. There will be a lot of interest in him, and I know I’ll be getting sent a lot of pictures from his holidays.”