LONDON • Football's worst-kept secret is out. Juergen Klopp has reportedly agreed to become the new Liverpool manager as confirmation that he will succeed Brendan Rodgers is expected today.
According to Sky Germany yesterday, the German said in Dortmund: "From tomorrow, I am a Liverpool man round the clock. But for now, we have to do some private things."
The former manager of Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund was due to fly to Merseyside yesterday, with a press conference scheduled at Anfield this morning.
But the wheels were already in motion before he arrived in England, with Sean O'Driscoll and Gary McAllister losing their jobs as Liverpool assistant manager and first- team coach respectively.
The pair, who joined the club only in the summer following an overhaul of Rodgers' back-room staff, have been informed they are not part of Klopp's plans for his coaching team at Anfield.
Pepijn Lijnders, the highly-rated coach who was promoted from Liverpool's youth academy to the first-team ranks this summer, has been retained, however.
The changes were the result of Klopp's detailed talks with Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group (FSG) over the management structure and his backroom staff.
The 48-year-old's former assistant at Borussia Dortmund, Zeljko Buvac, and analyst Peter Krawietz are to join him at Anfield, once his appointment is confirmed.
FSG had previously failed to tempt Klopp from Dortmund in 2010 and 2012. But the latest approach for their top target following the sacking of Rodgers after Sunday's Premier League 1-1 draw with Everton was the first concrete offer that has appealed since he ended his seven-year spell at the Westfalenstadion.
Klopp had been touted as Pep Guardiola's potential successor at Bayern Munich next summer.
But with uncertainty over whether Guardiola will extend his contract at the Allianz Arena, and whether Bayern regard Klopp as their top replacement, he has taken the challenge of reviving Liverpool's fortunes and becoming the 20th manager in the club's history.
One of his priorities at Anfield will be to persuade Philippe Coutinho to stay at the club amid interest from Barcelona and Real Madrid.
And the German received a boost yesterday, with the Brazilian playmaker's agent insisting that his client is "happy at Liverpool".
"Philippe is extremely happy at Liverpool. He signed a new long-term contract towards the end of last season that represents his ambition and his feeling for Liverpool," Kia Joorabchian told Brazilian TV channel Globo.
"Reports that I have been talking to Real Madrid about Philippe are not true. His aspirations are to qualify for the Champions League with Liverpool this season and to win a trophy."