Tim Howard to visit Liverpool hero Klopp and tempt him with incredible World Cup plan?

Matt Stead
Jurgen Klopp watches the 2024 Champions League final
Jurgen Klopp could return to football sooner than expected

Jurgen Klopp could be offered the chance to manage at a World Cup after the United States ‘identified’ him as their ‘top target’ to replace Gregg Berhalter.

Failure to even progress from their group as Copa America hosts made Berhalter’s position untenable, especially ahead of a 2026 World Cup which will be held across North and Central America.

Berhalter had to be sacked in the aftermath and in an ambitious move, the United States have set their sights as high as Klopp after he stepped down as Liverpool manager.

“Our immediate focus is on finding a coach who can maximise our potential as we continue to prepare for the 2026 World Cup, and we have already begun our search process,” United States Soccer Federation sporting director Matt Crocker said.

“We are deeply grateful to Gregg for his commitment the past five years to the Men’s National Team and to U.S. Soccer. Gregg has earned the respect of everyone within our organisation and has played a pivotal role in bringing together a young team and moving the programme forward.

“We wish Gregg all the best in his future endeavours, and we know he will find success in his next coaching position.”

When announcing his decision to leave Liverpool in January, Klopp clearly outlined his immediate plans.

“Whatever will happen in the future I don’t know now but no club, no country for the next year. No other English club ever, I can promise that,” the German said.

But Miguel Delaney of The Independent has revealed that the United States have ‘identified’ Klopp as their ‘top target’ to take over from Berhalter, going as far as to say that ‘initial contact’ has been made.

Former United States keeper Tim Howard might even be on standby, having declared at the start of the month: “I believe I could make a very compelling argument to Jurgen Klopp to take over the US Men’s National Team.’

He added: ‘After the disappointment of Copa America, after the United States lost to Uruguay and exited at the group stages, I will personally fly to Spain. I mean it.

‘I know Klopp has only been retired a few weeks and I know he wants a break. But if we sat around his villa in Spain, I think I could lure him over here. 100 percent.

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‘The money is certainly there. So my pitch would be simple: he has a young group of players who can play progressive, front-foot soccer – exactly like his Liverpool teams. And in two years’ time he can go to the biggest World Cup in history.

‘Plus, it’s international soccer, so there’s no need to be on the training ground every day. He doesn’t even have to worry about qualification.

‘It’s a risk, of course. No doubt some coaches will look at the US and see a payday and a comfy life. So you can’t just go for any big-name boss. You need someone with high expectations, a clear vision and a clear path. Someone who is demanding of themselves as well as their team. Someone like Jurgen Klopp.’

There could be competition from the German national team, with whom Klopp has been linked for years; there were even some calls in the early stages of Euro 2024 for him to replace Gareth Southgate at England.