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Jurgen Klopp favourite to take over at Liverpool as Brendan Rodgers sacked with £8million handshake

By Steven Beacom

Brendan Rodgers was devastated to be sacked as manager of Liverpool, who now plan to talk to German Jurgen Klopp about becoming the Ulsterman's successor at Anfield.

The 42-year-old from Carnlough paid the price for a poor start to the season, which followed a similar end to last season and was told his fate just an hour after yesterday's 1-1 draw at Everton in the Premier League.

Even if the Reds had won that match at Goodison Park 5-0, Liverpool's American owners had decided Rodgers was on his way. He will leave Anfield after three years with an estimated £8m pay-off, but also a heavy heart, feeling he had more to give the club.

With recent results and performances there had been growing disillusionment amongst Liverpool fans, though when the end came it was quicker than most anticipated. Rodgers will take a break from the game, but intends returning to management.

Now the hunt begins for Liverpool's new manager with former Borussia Dortmund boss Klopp at the top of a list which also includes Italian Carlo Ancelotti.

Klopp has not been in work since resigning as Dortmund boss in May. Prior to that he won the Bundesliga title twice in seven years in charge of the club.

If appointed he would be well received by the Liverpool fans. The same would be said of Ancelotti, previously a successful manager at the likes of AC Milan and Chelsea.

Those close to Ancelotti, though, suggest that he may bide his time in the hope that the Bayern Munich job becomes availble in the summer should Pep Guardiola move on, with both Manchester United and Manchester City keen on the ex-Barcelona boss.

Ancelotti would also be in the frame to return to Chelsea if under-pressure Jose Mourinho is sacked by the Stamford Bridge club.

After yesterday's 1-1 draw at Goodison Park, Rodgers said he had "never felt anything other than secure" but he was gone 60 minutes later when the club's American owners Fenway Sports Group informed him they were moving in a different direction.

In a statement released at 6.30pm last night, Fenway Sports Group principal owner John W Henry, chairman Tom Werner and president Mike Gordon said: "We would like to place on record our sincere thanks to Brendan Rodgers for the significant contribution he has made to the club and express our gratitude for his hard work and commitment.

"All of us have experienced some wonderful moments with Brendan as manager and we are confident he will enjoy a long career in the game. Although this has been a difficult decision, we believe it provides us with the best opportunity for success on the pitch.

"Ambition and winning are at the heart of what we want to bring to Liverpool and we believe this change gives us the best opportunity to deliver it.

"The search for a new manager is under way and we hope to make an appointment in a decisive and timely manner."

It is understood Liverpool want to have their new manager in place for the club's next game, away to Spurs in the Premier League on October 17.

Ironically, under Rodgers, the Reds have produced stunning performances at White Hart Lane in their previous two visits, one of which was in the 2013/2014 season when the Northern Ireland man almost guided the club to a first league title since 1990 - eventually losing out by two points to Manchester City.

After the game at Goodison, Rodgers, who didn't know he was going to be sacked, said whoever was in charge of the club faced a rebuilding job.

Before losing his job he said: "If we are to replicate what we did two years ago, we will have to build something.

"That will take time whether that is me or someone else."

Belfast Telegraph


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