LONDON • Liverpool hope to have Juergen Klopp installed as Brendan Rodgers' successor by the end of this week after the former Borussia Dortmund manager indicated that he is willing to take on the challenge of reviving their fortunes.
The German appeared to confirm that he had spoken to the English football club on Monday.
Asked by a reporter from Bild in Leverkusen about Liverpool, he said: "There's nothing to say. Neither a definite yes nor a definite no. I'm going home now." He then laughed and was said to be in a good mood as he walked away.
After opening formal talks with Klopp and his representatives on Monday, Liverpool, who reportedly had approached the tactician twice previously, are increasingly confident that the 48-year-old will become their next manager in the wake of Rodgers' departure, which was confirmed after the 1-1 league draw with Everton on Sunday.
A three-year contract is understood to be under discussion, with Klopp informing Liverpool of his desire to bring Zeljko Buvac and Peter Krawietz, two of the most senior members of his coaching staff at Dortmund, with him to Anfield.
Win percentage Juergen Klopp enjoyed with Borussia Dortmund, which saw him triumph 179 times in 318 matches
Dortmund scored 80 goals or more for three seasons on the bounce under Klopp
Number of trophies he won with Dortmund, comprising Bundesliga titles (2010-11 and 2011-12), German Cup (2011-12) and the German Super Cup (2008, 2013, 2014)
That move would increase the likelihood of Sean O'Driscoll and Gary McAllister, Liverpool's assistant manager and first-team coach respectively, following Rodgers out of the club.
Liverpool do not expect the club's transfer policy to become a sticking point because they are prepared to offer Klopp the final say on signings, as was the case with Rodgers. The German has also shown a willingness to work within a collegiate recruitment system throughout his managerial career.
Klopp's emergence as the leading contender to succeed Rodgers has resulted in Carlo Ancelotti, the former Chelsea and AC Milan manager, reluctantly accepting that his services are unlikely to be required as Liverpool look to conclude negotiations with their No. 1 target in the coming days.
Former Germany midfielder Stefan Effenberg, a friend of Klopp, believes the former Dortmund coach would be the perfect fit for Liverpool.
Effenberg said: "He gave me this answer a couple of weeks ago. He said, 'I'm ready for a team that's not on the highest level, to create something, to build something up.' This could be Liverpool, right?
"Liverpool have one of the greatest atmospheres. It's pretty much the same as Dortmund. The fans stay with everything behind the club and this is what Juergen Klopp likes and what he needs. So maybe, very soon, we'll hear something from Juergen Klopp, to make a decision, maybe, for Liverpool."
Former Germany captain Oliver Kahn said Klopp's good level of English makes him an ideal candidate to awaken the sleeping giants, who are 10th in the Premier League table, but the language barrier could still be a problem, especially given the strong Merseyside accent.
"The question is always a little about the language barrier," said Kahn. "From the technical side of things, there is nothing to think about."
Liverpool have opened talks with Rodgers over a compensation package in what both parties expect to be a cordial procedure given the strength of the 42-year-old's relationship with his former employers.
Rodgers flew to Marbella on holiday yesterday and has left the negotiations in the hands of his legal advisers, with Liverpool expected to pay him in the region of £7 million (S$15 million) in lieu of the remaining 21/2 years on his contract.
THE TIMES, LONDON, THE GUARDIAN