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New Liverpool deal will be Klopp's reward for Champions League triumph

Liverpool's owners Fenway Sports Group are keen to tie manager Jurgen Klopp down to a new, extended contract
Liverpool's owners Fenway Sports Group are keen to tie manager Jurgen Klopp down to a new, extended contract

By Carl Markham

Liverpool's owners Fenway Sports Group are keen to tie manager Jurgen Klopp down to a new, extended contract .

The German delivered the club's sixth European Cup, their first major trophy for seven years, in Saturday's 2-0 win over Tottenham in Madrid and guided them to a second-place finish in the Premier League with a record runners-up points tally of 97.

Klopp's current deal expires in 2022 but FSG, essentially principal owner John W Henry, chairman Tom Werner and FSG president Mike Gordon, want to secure him for longer.

"When the players threw Jurgen in the air after our victory, they were acknowledging what all Liverpool fans know - he is beloved by all who appreciate football," said Werner.

"Jurgen is a brilliant coach but, just as importantly, he is a humble and caring man who is happy today because he knows what this meant to our supporters."

For his part, Klopp was amazed by the 500,000-plus turn-out for the team's victory parade (above) in the city yesterday.

"You see in the eyes how much it means. It is really intense," he said.

Klopp believes winning his first trophy with Liverpool is only the beginning and the squad he has assembled has its best years still to come, predicting it will not be the last.

“Now we won something and we will carry on. We want to win things, 100 per cent. I’ve said it, this is only the start for this group,” he said.

“It’s still a wonderful age group, they all have the best times in their careers ahead of them so that’s big.

“For me, I’m really happy. I have a lot of silver medals and now I have a golden one so it’ll be next to the silver medals in my house and that’s cool.

“But mostly I’m happy for all the other people. When you saw it in the dressing room, everybody felt it but you don’t really know what to do with it.

“But I’m really sure when we drive through the city then we all will realise what these boys have done and that’s the best moment, for sure.”

Two of Klopp’s senior players, his captain Jordan Henderson, and veteran midfielder James Milner have endured their fair share of criticism since the German took over in October 2015.

Klopp felt putting a trophy in the cabinet was vindication for them and his faith in them.

“I’m happy for the boys. You know what people said about a couple of players of this team,” he added.

“Jordan Henderson is captain of the Champions League winner 2019 — that’s satisfying actually. And that Millie did it at the age of 33.

“They are all very important. Without Millie’s dressing-room talks before the game — with a non-native manager — I think it would not be possible. It’s so important.”

Klopp was keen to deflect some of the glory from himself to his squad and backroom staff, who also contributed to a record-breaking Premier League runners-up tally of 97 points.

“My job is to take all the responsibility and I like that actually because it gives my players the freedom to play football. That’s how I understand it,” he said.

“Sometimes it would be easier to understand it in a different way but that’s how I understand it. But look at my coaches, what we all did during the year to try to make the next step.

“We started in Evian in the (summer) training camp, bringing these players and knowing they need time but we had to win football games from the start, it was difficult.

“But it feels so good: 97 points, now you can say it, 97 points in the league is incredible and winning the Champions League —that’s an unbelievably long way to go and we did it.”

Belfast Telegraph


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