Jurgen Klopp to quit Dortmund: Arsenal and Manchester City could chase Bundesliga head coach
Jürgen Klopp will leave his position as Borussia Dortmund head coach at the end of the season, the Bundesliga club confirmed in a press conference this afternoon.
Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke announced at the press conference that the club has agreed to release Klopp early from his current contract. Having been linked with a move to the Premier League, with Arsenal a likely destination given past reports.
However, Manchester City's struggles this season has seen Klopp installed as the favourite to be the next manager at the Etihad, should the axe fall on current incumbent Manuel Pellegrini.
Speaking at the press conference, Klopp said: "I always said in that moment where I believe I am not the perfect coach anymore for this extraordinary club, I will say so.
"I believe this is the right decision at the right time. I have in the last weeks and days asked myself if I was still the right manager and I wasn't sure. I couldn't answer with a yes."
Klopp's sudden exit comes after a below-par season in the German top flight. With Dortmund sitting tenth in the Bundesliga table and coming off the back of a disappointing 3-1 defeat to Borussia Mönchengladbach, German newspaper Bild reported that the 47-year-old contacted the club’s hierarchy in order to have his contract terminated and bring an end to his successful spell with the Signal Iduna Park outfit.
The club went on to announce a surprise press conference at 12.30pm BST, where it was revealed that Klopp will vacate his position as manager of the club he joined in 2008 when the season ends on 1 July.
Klopp also addressed the reports that he will take a year's sabbatical due to being tired, something that he strongly dismissed. He went on the say that while he has not had any talks with other clubs, he would be in a new job come the summer, strengthening the prospect of the German coming tot he Premier League having previously announced his desire to manage in England.
"I have not had any contact with any other clubs, nor have I any plans to take a sabbatical.
"I just wanted to make my decision known now so that the club can plan for the future.
"I chose this time to announce it, because in the last few years, some player decisions were made late and there was no time to react."
The club's sporting director, Michael Zorc, thanked Klopp for his commitment to Dortmund over the years.
"We have written football history with you, Jurgen," said Zorc. "You have given the club much energy and optimism."
Since Klopp took over at the Westfalenstadion in 2008, he oversaw a revival at the club in which they claimed back-to-back Bundesliga titles in 2010-11 and 2011-12, as well as secure the German Cup in 2012 to complete the double.
Klopp’s crowning moment nearly came in the 2012-13 Champions League final, but defeat to Bayern Munich at Wembley Stadium saw Dortmund miss out on the European Cup by the narrowest of margins.
They remain in the German Cup this season having been eliminated from the Champions League by Juventus in the last-16, but an encounter with reigning champions Bayern remains a daunting prospect at best and their chances of reaching the final can be rated as unlikely.
Independent News Service