EXCLUSIVE | By Editor
Liverpool have made an approach for Jurgen Klopp as they consider plans to replace Brendan Rodgers, Football Insider sources understand.
The Merseysiders have made enquiries through third parties about the availability of the former Borussia Dortmund manager as they work through a shortlist of candidates to replace Rodgers.
The Liverpool boss steered his team to a 3-2 win over Aston Villa last Saturday to temporarily stem the growing criticism that has come his way in recent weeks.
But sources have told Football Insider that the Anfield hierarchy, led by Fenway Sports Group chief Mike Gordon, are still weighing up alternatives to the under-fire northern Irishman.
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Klopp and Carlo Ancelotti, who are both on sabbaticals after leaving Dortmund and Real Madrid respectively at the end of last season, head the Merseysiders’ list of targets.
Klopp has been advised to keep a close eye on Liverpool’s matches as he prepares for a return to management following a five-month break.
The former Dortmund manager was targeted by the Merseysiders at the end of last season but chose to take a sabbatical from the game and Liverpool stuck with Rodgers.
Klopp is keeping his options open about his future plans and sources have told Football Insider that his representatives have told him to closely monitor Liverpool among a number of teams during his break. He is also likely to be targeted by Bayern Munich if Pep Guardiola does not extend his contract, which expires at the end of the season.
American-owned Liverpool approached Klopp in May to assess his interest in the Anfield position but were told he wanted to take a six-month break following the end of his seven-year Dortmund reign.
He is deemed to be a more realistic target than Ancelotti, who is understood to be keen to manage a team with immediate trophy-winning potential.
Speaking at a recent recent radio exhibition in Berlin, the 48-year-old said he was not missing management but admitted that it would be only a matter of time before he was back in club football.
“I’ll be back to train a team,” Klopp said: “I miss currently nothing. I inform, read, meet a lot of people – there are ordinary little things that make great fun.”
Asked about his possible next destination, Klopp suggested it would be “not an absolute top club, there are other good projects that are exciting who need help.”
Klopp’s agent Marc Kosicke has said that a number of Premier League clubs are of interest to the German, who steered Dortmund to two Bundesliga titles and a Champions League final. “We do not only think about the top four because there are some other great clubs below them. It is always all about the challenge.”
Liverpool have had a mixed start to the new season, accumulating 11 points from their opening seven Premier League matches and failing to convince that they have made an improvements from last season, when they finished sixth and eight points adrift of a Champions League position.
The nature of the recent defeats to West Ham and Manchester United re-opened the wounds of last season and put further pressure on Rodgers.
The likelihood is that Klopp will be available to return to club management from around November onwards.