Klopp to take over from flop?

Reds to hold talks with former Dortmund boss while Ancelotti is also being considered

LONDON • Liverpool will have discussions with Juergen Klopp in the next few days, with the former Borussia Dortmund manager their favoured candidate to succeed sacked Brendan Rodgers.

Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group are also considering Carlo Ancelotti, expected to be in England later this week on business, for the vacancy created when Rodgers' 40-month tenure was ended after Sunday's 1-1 draw against Everton.

Klopp, though, is seen as the ideal appointment.

What FSG want from the mercurial German is to overturn the norms of football and defy the financial rules. They want a manager who will mould and develop players, rather than one who provides a quick fix. They want a consistent overachiever who can bring the glory days back to Anfield.


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    Players Brendan Rodgers brought to Liverpool.


    Rodgers has the second best win rate of any Premier League manager for Liverpool, behind Rafael Benitez (55.3 per cent).


    League games he managed as Liverpool boss. He won 63, drew 30, lost 29.


    Amount he spent on new singings, which is equivalent to S$635 million.

Klopp has proven that he can do all that. Twice, in 2010-11 and 2011-12, his Dortmund side beat the mighty Bayern Munich to the Bundesliga title.

He guided them to the 2013 Champions League final - won by Bayern - with a team on a wage bill smaller than that of Aston Villa and Queens Park Rangers.

That the task is effectively to galvanise an underdog currently 10th in the Premier League made Klopp the preferred choice. Ancelotti - the only man alive who has won three Champions League titles - is more accustomed to having an array of superstars at Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid.

Klopp is also unlikely to have issues with the transfer committee structure in place at Liverpool, having delegated over player recruitment at Dortmund.

The 48-year-old rejected a previous approach from Liverpool in June 2012, when the Merseyside club were seeking a successor to Kenny Dalglish, opting to remain at Dortmund.

Having stepped down as Dortmund manager last summer, he is on a year-long sabbatical but is understood to be willing to curtail his break from football if the right opportunity were to present itself.

And his camp have made it known that he would welcome an approach from Liverpool.

His availability is believed to have been a factor in FSG's decision to sack Rodgers ahead of the international break.

Liverpool have not appointed a caretaker manager, leaving training duties to assistant manager Sean O'Driscoll and first-team coach Gary McAllister. The aim is to have the new man in place for the trip to Tottenham on Oct 17.

"Although this has been a difficult decision, we believe it provides us with the best opportunity for success on the pitch," an FSG statement read.

Rodgers' last public act as Liverpool manager was to warn that the club faced a significant rebuilding project, regardless of whether he was replaced.

The challenge ahead also includes dealing with the nuances of the Reds' recruitment department.

Rodgers was not always able to sign his first-choice targets, the likes of defenders Ashley Williams and Ryan Bertrand being prime examples, if they were not rated by the rest of the transfer committee.

In the wake of Rodgers' departure, those with their fingers on the pulse at Anfield - former defender Jamie Carragher among them - have taken a swipe at FSG's running of the club.

"They have made a lot of decisions since they've come that haven't worked," said Carragher.

He highlighted the sackings of Damien Comolli and Dalglish as well as the failings of the club's transfer committee.

"At this moment, the owners' track record in making decisions for Liverpool Football Club over the last two or three years has not been good enough.

"It is miles off."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 06, 2015, with the headline 'KLOPP TO TAKE OVER FROM FLOP?'. Print Edition | Subscribe