Liverpool continue pursuit of former Dortmund coach Klopp
Liverpool’s non-international players returned to training on Tuesday as the club continue their pursuit of Jurgen Klopp to become the new manager.
After Brendan Rodgers’ sacking on Sunday assistant boss Sean O’Driscoll, first team coach Gary McAllister and development coach Pep Lijnders have been tasked with taking care of sessions at Melwood in the interim.
They all attended this morning to put the small group not selected for their national teams through their paces.
However, the futures of O’Driscoll, a former England Under-19 manager, and ex-Reds midfielder McAllister at the club look to be short-lived.
The pair were brought in this summer as part of a backroom reshuffle which saw Rodgers’ close friend Colin Pascoe and another former player Mike Marsh jettisoned after a robust end-of-season review.
With Rodgers now gone and Klopp being lined up as a replacement the German is certain to want to bring with him Zeljko Buvac and Peter Krawietz – his trusted assistants who worked with him at Borussia Dortmund.
Not among the players who trained this morning was Philippe Coutinho, who yesterday pulled out of Brazil’s squad for World Cup qualifiers with Chile and Venezuela.
The 23-year-old has a minor groin injury which Press Association Sport understands is only likely to present a short-term issue and the hope is he will be available for the trip to Tottenham on October 17.
By then Liverpool hope to have had Klopp in position for long enough to have been able to make proper preparations for his Premier League debut.
Support for Klopp moving to Liverpool is widespread in his homeland.
Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, who was linked with a move to the Premier League this summer with Liverpool among the clubs mentioned, won a Bundesliga title and played in a Champions League final under Klopp.
He believes the Reds would be hitting the jackpot by appointing his former boss.
"I’ve not had that much contact with him recently, and I’ve not followed much of what has been said, but I think Klopp would be a great fit at many clubs and I believe also at Liverpool," the Germany player said at a national team press conference.
"Of course it’s something I can see happening. I think Klopp is capable of helping many top clubs in the world."
Klopp has also received backing from former Bayern Munich and Germany goalkeeper Oliver Kahn to succeed in England.
"I can definitely see it happening and there’s absolutely no reservations at all in terms of his expertise," Kahn told Sport1 television.
"England would be the right next step for Klopp, also in terms of his personal development.
"Only the language may be a barrier. It’s not that I think he would have a problem conversing in English, but when it comes down to motivating the team and his team talks – that’s a small thing that may not translate so well.
"Jurgen’s always been really good at motivating his players and that is what he would have to prove at Liverpool."
Former Bayer Leverkusen coach Christoph Daum sees no such problem and feels Klopp’s infectious positivity will ensure he gets his motivational messages across.
"A character like Jurgen would fit in really well at Anfield," he said. "I know he’s regarded very highly in England and is on the wishlist of many clubs."
German great Franz Beckenbauer added his endorsement for Klopp, telling Sky Sports News: "He is for me one of the best (managers) in the world. If Liverpool have the chance to sign him for their club they should do it.
"He talks to the players and gives them a good feeling.
"This combination – Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp – it’s a very good combination."