Premier League • England

Next Liverpool manager: Arne Slot becomes No 1 pick as exit clause is revealed and Feyenoord coach fuels claims

Arne Slot Feyenoord

Feyenoord boss Arne Slot has cancelled an upcoming press conference amid reports that Liverpool have placed him at the top of their managerial list of candidates to replace Jurgen Klopp this summer.

The Reds are seemingly counting down the weeks until the hugely popular German walks away from the club after nine successful years at the helm on Merseyside.

Since his shock statement in late January, the rumour mill has been working overtime regarding who will be his successor.

Up until this week it had appeared that Ruben Amorim was the top contender for the role after reportedly having talks with the Reds, although it’s since been revealed that he is also a major West Ham target to replace the outgoing David Moyes.

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All that comes after legendary Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso decided not to walk away from Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen, signing a new deal with the German outfit until 2026 instead.

And now appears that a new name has emerged as the perfect Klopp replacement in the form of Slot, who shot into contention following reports earlier on Tuesday.

Slot took his first senior job with AZ Alkmaar in 2019 and his stock has risen ever since.

Having taken over at Feyenoord in 2021, the Dutchman led them to an Eredivisie title two years later and also masterminded a Dutch Cup triumph last weekend.

However, it looks highly unlikely that his side will be defending their league title in the current campaign, with Feyenood currently nine points behind PSV with only four games remaining.

Leeds United, Tottenham and Chelsea have all shown interest in bringing Slot to England at various points over the past few years. But now, according to The Times, Liverpool are looking at the 45-year-old with a firm view to making him their next manager.

Add in the fact that the Dutchman curiously cancelled his press conference for an upcoming Eredivisie match and it all adds up to Liverpool moving closer to getting their man.

Liverpool facing cheaper compensation figure for Slot 

The Feyenoord chief’s current contract runs until 2026 and does not include a release clause, but it is claimed that Liverpool could get their hands on him for as little as £8.6million – which is significantly less than the cost of appointing Amorim from Sporting.

In terms of how Slot likes his teams to play, he favours a 4-2-3-1 formation and employs an aggressive, attacking style of football – very similar to Klopp in that regard.

Indeed, those attributes are likely to stand him in good stead with senior figures at Anfield, with CEO of Football Michael Edwards and incoming sporting director Richard Hughes overseeing the current appointment process.

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Slot, who has previously been dubbed ‘The Pep Guardiola of the Eredivisie’, is also a friend of Klopp’s assistant, Pepijn Lijnders, who is set to follow the German out of Anfield this summer.

At this stage, there is no timeframe on when a potential announcement could be made but it appears, given how quickly this news has broken, that things could move pretty rapidly as Liverpool look to begin a new era on Merseyside.