Liverpool confirm stance on timescale to replace Jurgen Klopp as manager

Liverpool will begin the search for a replacement manager immediately, but have issued a clear notice that work will be done behind the scenes with no public updates, to avoid distracting the team as they challenge for major honours this season.

Jurgen Klopp earlier announced he would be stepping down as head coach at the end of the current campaign, two years before his contract is due to expire.

Shortly afterwards, it was confirmed that Jorg Schmadtke would also be leaving his role as sporting director, having only been appointed on a short-term deal in June, leaving a big turnover of senior staff for the Reds this summer.

Speaking at Klopp’s press conference - due to be previewing the FA Cup tie against Norwich City this weekend, but actually only discussing the manager’s impending departure - club CEO Billy Hogan explained the process Liverpool will now take.

“I wouldn’t want to set an expectation [of when the appointment could be made],” Hogan said. “We’ll ensure we’ve looked at all the data, done our due diligence and then we’ll make a decision. I can’t commit to a timeline, it’ll go in the background and we’ll do everything to make the right choice for this football club.

“But it’s not to be a distraction, it’s about letting the team continue to perform.

“Jurgen wanted to give the club time to go through an orderly process and that’s not easy to do if the news isn’t public. We will go through the same process that brought us Jurgen [in 2015] and we’ll do it in private. [FSG president] Mike Gordon will be part of that process but it’s not going to be a running commentary and we wont talk about other people or get into the name game.

“We’re focused on making the 23/24 campaign one the fans can look back on with enjoyment.”

Klopp, meanwhile, was also asked about the possibility of backtracking on his decision to exit the club early.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

While the German revealed his amazement Alex Ferguson had done exactly that years earlier at Manchester United, he insisted there was no possibility he would do so.

“I really thought a lot about it. I have to make the decision at one point because nobody else will,” Klopp explained. “And the owners knew I would do it, I don’t want to hang around. I thought it through properly and I want [to win] everything this season but it wouldn’t change my mind.

“It’s a decision I made independent of any kind of results. A big one is potential of the team, it’s a really good basis and that’s why it’s a good moment to give it to somebody else.”

Klopp’s assistants Vitor Matos and Pepijn Lijnders are also set to depart, with Hogan revealing they “want to get going on their managerial careers” - which the outgoing boss is sure they are more than ready to do, though there was no hint they would be in the running to replace him.

“The boys are ready. The impact they had, especially Pep, on the football we play is incredible. I have to be thankful and grateful to him and I am. He gave me a new vision over the last few years. They will go for it and I will support it from wherever I am.”

However, Klopp also revealed he would play no part in deciding his successor.

“The last thing they need is advice from the old man walking out the door - I will definitely not do that,” he added.