Liverpool insider names three candidates to replace Klopp

Matthew Stead

Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders ‘is massively respected’ and a candidate to replace Jurgen Klopp when the German leaves.

Lijnders returned to Anfield in June 2018 after being sacked by NEC Nijmegen for failing to earn promotion from the Dutch second tier.

The 37-year-old was first appointed by Liverpool as a coach under Brendan Rodgers in 2014 but has impressed on his way up through the ranks.

Lijnders himself has spoken highly of Klopp, but it has emerged that he would likely be considered as an option to replace the German if he leaves.

Trusted Liverpool journalist James Pearce suggests Lijnders and RB Leipzig manager Julian Nagelsmann as leading candidates for a role that might not be available for another four years or more.

‘There was a genuine concern among the owners that Klopp may have decided to take a sabbatical in 2022,’ he told The Athletic.

‘So the fact he signed that new contract before Christmas was a huge boost. It means summer 2024 is the earliest that a change of manager maybe required.

‘Pep Lijnders is massively respected by the owners and is a popular figure throughout the club. He would certainly be part of the conversation when it comes to successors.

‘If RB Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann’s managerial career remains on an upward curve at that time, he’s bound to be of interest, too.

‘So much can change in the space of four years. I still think Steven Gerrard is destined to manage Liverpool. I know their domestic form hasn’t been great recently but in general, he’s done a great job at Rangers.

‘In football, it’s all about timing. I’d love to see Gerrard enjoy success over the next few years, whether that’s at Ibrox or at another club, and then be in a position where he has sufficient experience to be Klopp’s successor.’

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