By Richard Parks
Liverpool fans have taken to Twitter to express their despair that assistant manager Zeljko Buvac will be absent for the rest of the season.
BBC Merseyside Sports was among multiple media platforms that reported on Monday morning that Jurgen Klopp’s right-hand man “will spend some time away” from the club “for personal reasons”.
It is said the Bosnian-Serb will not be involved for the Champions League semi-final second leg at Roma on Wednesday as well as the remainder of the campaign but remains an employee of Liverpool.
BREAKING: After reports that Zeljko Buvac has left #LFC, we understand that he will spend some time away from the first team environment for the rest of the season for personal reasons. Buvac remains an employee and his position at the club is not affected by this absence. pic.twitter.com/KJPiFyuzDu
— BBC Merseyside Sport (@bbcmerseysport) April 30, 2018
This comes after the Daily Record reported that Buvac, who moved to Anfield in October 2015, has left the club following a “dispute” with Klopp.
It is said that Liverpool’s players were informed on Sunday that the Bosnian-Serb is leaving Klopp’s backroom staff, to end a 17-year coaching relationship.
The briefing from the media to Merseyside correspondents does not go that far, although it is seemingly the beginning of the end of Buvac’s time at the Champions League semi-finalists.
Liverpool supporters on social media extremely unhappy at the exit of the assistant manager two days before the club’s biggest match of the season.
Here is a selection of their messages on Twitter:
This Buvac #LFC situation is very fishy to me. The timing is awful and could’ve waited till the end of the season to take a leave of absence. Unless he is sick or something (and if so I wish him a speedy recovery) then he’s as good as gone
— Armadillo (@Armadillo_KSA) April 30, 2018
People on here talking like buvac is the mastermind behind our success and klopp is just his crazy puppet front man, don’t get me wrong I’d be sad if he left but klopp is the manager and we need to trust him and the team #LFC
— Dean cox (@Deankop1) April 30, 2018
Maybe Klopp is useless without his right hand man
Or maybe Buvac has become less important as their time at #LFC has gone on. Maybe he didn’t like being marginalised & being overruled/ignored by Klopp made him disillusioned & distant.
Maybe, just maybe, it’s for the best.
— Biggies Malls (@MoMoneyMoSalah) April 30, 2018
— LFCZA ???????? (@LFCZA) April 30, 2018
Can see Jürgen go absolutely nuclear when the presser for the CL semi-final 2nd leg is just questions about Buvac leaving. #LFC
— Marco ????☠️ (@vivast_pauli) April 30, 2018
Really important to put speculation about Buvac aside. We’ve a Champions League semi final in two days, full focus needed. He’s not gonna be there and there’s nothing we can do about it. Worrying causes you to suffer twice #lfc
— AnfieldIrish (@KopDublin) April 30, 2018
Absolutely devastated over Buvac leaving to be honest. Reminds me of Pako Ayestaran splitting from Rafa after they fell out.
When a manager loses the person who has the guts to stand up to them & tell them they’re wrong about something, they’re never the same manager after. #lfc
— Nick LFC (@nickglaw91) April 30, 2018
Buvac has worked as a managerial partnership with Klopp since the German was placed in charge of Mainz in February 2001.
They have had great success together and it would be regarded as a huge upset if the Bosnian-Serb has indeed left the club ahead of their biggest match of the season.