Belfast Telegraph

Liverpool near Jurgen Klopp deal as Brendan Rodgers reveals pain of sacking

By Steven Beacom

Jurgen Klopp is primed to become Liverpool's new manager and may even be appointed as the successor to Brendan Rodgers by the end of the week.

Negotiations between the German and the Anfield club have progressed well following the weekend exit of Ulsterman Rodgers and Klopp is expected to sign a three-year contract.

Klopp is keen to travel to Liverpool within the next few days in a bid to complete a deal which will go down well with Liverpool supporters.

Following his sacking on Sunday, Rodgers spoke about his exit for the first time, displaying the class and dignity he is renowned for within football.

He stated he was "incredibly disappointed to be leaving Liverpool" adding that it was an "honour and privilege to manage one of the game's great clubs for the last three years".

The 42-year-old from Carnlough also thanked the Liverpool players, staff, owners and supporters and wished the club well in the future.

Unless something goes wrong with negotiations, that future should be with 48-year-old Klopp, who is available after leaving Borussia Dortmund in May.

It has been suggested that Klopp would be against working with a transfer committee, but Fenway Sports Group, Liverpool's owners, are confident any outstanding issues can be sorted out.

The Merseyside club have also been in contact with representatives of Italian Carlo Ancelotti, previously a successful boss with the likes of AC Milan, Chelsea and Real Madrid, but Klopp is the number one choice.

He would bring in his own backroom team, though there are many Liverpool fans who would love him to try and entice the legendary Steven Gerrard or Jamie Carragher back to the club in coaching roles.

What is certain is that Liverpool want their new manager in place for their next game at Spurs in the league on October 17.

As for Rodgers, he has decided to take a break in Spain following his dismissal from Anfield. The former Swansea boss is determined to return to management in the future and won't be short on offers from England and abroad.

In Saturday's Belfast Telegraph, Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill said Rodgers should be given more time at Anfield.

Commenting on the sacking of his pal yesterday, O'Neill said: "I am sad and very disappointed for Brendan. He is an excellent young manager. I hoped he would get longer. I think he has done an excellent job there. He came close to winning the league title.

"In the Premier League the tenure of managers can be very short but Brendan has shown his qualities to manage at the top level. I have no doubt that he will be managing again at the top level very soon."

Belfast Telegraph


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