Arne Slot confirms football’s worst-kept secret: he will be next Liverpool manager

Feyenoord head coach Arne Slot attends a press conference in Rotterdam, Netherlands, 27 November 2023
Liverpool will hold off announcing Arne Slot until after Jurgen Klopp's farewell - Shutterstock/Olaf Kraak

Feyenoord coach Arne Slot has confirmed the worst-kept secret in football: he will replace Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool manager.

An official announcement from the Merseyside club has been shelved in order to prioritise Klopp’s farewell against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday.

Slot, however, is preparing to say goodbye to the Feyenoord supporters this weekend, informing reporters at his weekly press conference that he is Anfield-bound.

“I can confirm that I will become the trainer there next year,” Slot said. “Until now I was not thinking about this being the build-up to my last match, but that starts coming now.

“At the beginning of the week you are thinking about training and those kinds of things. But the feeling gets stronger now. That is why I’m a little bit late now (for the news conference), because I wanted to say goodbye to some people personally and take time for them, more than just shaking hands.

“So yeah, the feeling grows. I understand that good results help, but it is very nice to feel that people really are thinking it’s a pity that I’m leaving. You can say that with words, but you can feel it if people truly think that way. That does mean a lot to me.”

Feyenoord did not announce their agreement with Liverpool – the clubs shook hands a few weeks ago – but confirmed the 45-year-old’s departure on social media, saying: “The Arne Slot era is coming to an end. Let’s enjoy the last moments.”

The formal confirmation from Liverpool is anticipated shortly after the conclusion to this Premier League season. Liverpool will pay around £9 million to release Slot from the three-year-deal he signed at Feyenoord last summer.

Klopp has offered his backing to Slot as his appointment became known, saying last month:

“I like the way his team plays football, all the things I hear about him as a guy say he’s a good guy. I like that a lot – good guy, good coach and looking forward I’m more than happy. It sounds all really good.”

Slot became the preferred choice as his style of play will not require a radical tactical shift, and he is enthusiastic about developing young players rather than being a cheque book coach.

His Feyenoord team is renowned for punching above the club’s financial weight playing the kind of front-footed, attacking football for which Klopp is also renowned. In the last two years, Slot has won the Dutch title and Dutch cup.

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