Liverpool fans will not want to hear this – but Jurgen Klopp will not be staying forever.
In fact, the German has given a few subtle hints about when he might leave his post as manager in recent weeks.
His latest comments about his future came in an interview with German sports magazine Kicker, where he appeared to suggest he will leave in 2022 which is when his contract at Anfield expires.
Asked if he would take some time off after he finishes, Klopp said: “It looks like it. Who can now say if he can give it his all in three years’ time?
“If I decide for myself that I can’t go on any more, I’ll take a break and in that year I’d have to make a definite decision (over my career).
“I have absolute energy, but I have one problem; I can’t do ‘a little bit’. I can only do ‘all or nothing’.
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“But the chances are very high that my energy levels will go up again (after a year’s break), and that I can then do the job the way I want to.”
Liverpool have made immense strides since Klopp became manager in 2015, with last season being a very successful campaign as they won the Champions League and finished second in the Premier League with a record points tally of 97.
However, a time will come where Liverpool will have to prepare for life without Klopp – so who could we see take the Anfield hot-seat afterwards?
talkSPORT.com has identified six possible replacements for the eccentric Liverpool manager…
After being allowed to leave prematurely as a player, Liverpool fans would welcome Alonso back at Anfield to be their manager in a heartbeat.
The Spaniard was a midfielder with incredible vision and was allowed to join Real Madrid for £30million – one of Liverpool’s biggest mistakes in the transfer market, especially when you consider Alonso’s replacement was Alberto Aquilani.
Then 27, Alonso went on to have his best years as a player by winning a bucket load of trophies at the Bernabeu and Bayern Munich before retiring in 2017.
He is currently earning his managerial stripes with Real Sociedad’s B team, so being Klopp’s replacement may be a bridge too far just yet.
There’s surely a job for Alonso at Anfield in the future if he wants it.
Also in contention to succeed Klopp could be former Liverpool boss Benitez, who won the Champions League in 2005 with a pretty average squad.
Benitez made mistakes in his six-year stay at Anfield, such as the sanctioning of the sale of Alonso, some poor signings over the years and of course his infamous rotation policy when it came to picking teams.
However, for most of his term as Reds boss, Rafa was in a constant battle with former owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks, who nearly ran the club into administration.
If Benitez was to be the manager under John Henry and Tom Werner – owners who have their heads screwed on – things would be much easier for him.
He’s recently taken charge of Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang, which is surely a stop-gap gig before he gets a better job in Europe.
Benitez has a real affinity for Liverpool and you get the sense he’s holding out for another crack at the whip.
Arguably the fans’ favourite to succeed Klopp would be Gerrard, who is viewed by many as Liverpool’s greatest ever player – and is the bookies’ favourite to the next Liverpool permanent manager according to Betfair, via Oddschecker.
He had offers from much more successful clubs throughout his playing career but Gerrard opted to stay at Liverpool for 17 of his 18 years as a player – the final one a brief spell with MLS side LA Galaxy.
Gerrard has gone into management and is currently in charge of Scottish Premiership club Rangers.
He made a steady start in his first season and it looks like Gers could push title favourites and bitter rivals Celtic all the way in 2019/20.
If he can get the power to shift back to Ibrox in the next few years that would be some achievement – and it would also put him in great stead to land his dream job as Liverpool boss.
Liverpool fans and the club’s management would like to see a continuation of Klopp’s success whenever he does leave, so why not hire someone who knows his way of playing?
Dutchman Lijnders, who is currently Liverpool’s assistant manager, is surely the most natural successor.
Lijnders knows the players, the playing style and what it means to work as a coach at Liverpool.
He also has experience of being a manager, although this is for Dutch side NEC Nijmegen so Liverpool would be a much bigger step up.
If Liverpool want someone more experienced as a manager but is also likely to have a similar style to Klopp, then fellow German Tuchel could be an option.
Tuchel, who succeeded Klopp when he left Borussia Dortmund in 2015, is now at Paris Saint-Germain so knows how to manage a top club.
PSG are a club obsessed with the idea of winning the Champions League and if Tuchel doesn’t get them that trophy over the next couple of years then he’ll surely be shown the door and that could clear Liverpool to make an approach.
Probably the least likely option of these six potential replacements but hiring Wagner would surely get Klopp’s blessing.
Klopp and Wagner are old friends from when they played at Mainz and also worked closely as coaches at Dortmund.
Wagner did a brilliant job by getting Huddersfield promoted to the Premier League and keeping them there in 2017/18 with limited resources.
He’s gone on to manage Bundesliga club Schalke, who have experienced a decline in recent seasons, but if he can do a good job in Gelsenkirchen then Wagner will surely attract the attention of some big clubs including Liverpool.
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