Jurgen Klopp stunned the football world when he announced he would be leaving Liverpool at the end of the 2023/24 season.
Klopp is currently under contract with the Reds, a club he successfully transformed after taking over from Brendan Rodgers in October 2015.
Despite being contracted until 2026, he has decided to depart at the end of this campaign, choosing to leave two years earlier than originally planned. He cited fatigue from the intense demands of the role as the primary reason for his early departure.
The German informed Mike Gordon, the president of Liverpool’s owner, Fenway Sports Group, about his decision in November last year, however, he only revealed the news to his players just before training on Friday.
“Klopp convened his squad on the training pitch shortly before 10.30am on Friday to deliver the news he had first given to Fenway Sports Group president Michael Gordon in November,” the Telegraph reports.
“As is often the case with Klopp, the speech was part instinctive, part pre-planned.
“He told the players he was only going to leave Liverpool in a position of strength.
“If he thought there was more work needed to restore them to the position of title challengers or major trophy winners, a sense of unfinished business would have kept him in charge.
“There was a strong hint he would have gone sooner but for the turbulence of last season.
“Klopp had carried his secret for two months. He is relieved it is out in the open. The curious timing can be explained because once Klopp’s coaching staff knew and started making plans for their next employment, it was sure to leak.”
The search for Klopp’s replacement is currently underway, with Liverpool stating that no formal approaches have been made so far as they look to finish the season strongly.
Former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso is expected to be among the frontrunners, given his successful leadership at Bayer Leverkusen, where he has propelled the team to the top of the Bundesliga.
Despite his success at Leverkusen, Luis Garcia has cautioned Xabi Alonso against taking over Jurgen Klopp as the next Reds manager.
“Sometimes, rushing things is not very good. I’m not saying that Xabi is not ready to handle high-level management because I’ve just seen what he has done at Leverkusen, he is really, really remarkable and is continuing to do it,” the ex-Liverpool forward said.
“He has signed a new contract but there has been rumours about him leaving for Real Madrid, Bayern Munich but at the end I like the way Xabi is managing his career, taking a step at a time.
“I don’t want to bring in Xabi right after Jurgen Klopp because the legacy that Jürgen has left is so big that it will be difficult to match it.
“Everyone is going to expect from Xabi, not even a transition period. They want [him] to deliver the best of the best. They want Liverpool to be challenging for every single trophy, that’s not easy.
“So I would like Xabi to arrive at Liverpool with that confidence. He has to make mistakes first, he has only just started his career.”