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Pep Lijnders reveals his own Liverpool future following Jurgen Klopp’s shock announcement

Pep Lijnders has explained why he will leave Liverpool this summer by declaring that he will not be an assistant to anyone except Jurgen Klopp and will now seek to become a manager himself.

The Dutchman, who used to be tipped as a possible successor to the German, will move on along with fellow assistant manager Peter Krawietz, elite development coach Vitor Matos and sporting director Jorg Schmadtke.

The 40-year-old has had two spells at Liverpool, interrupted by a brief stint managing NEC Nijmegen in his home country, and has worked particularly closely with Klopp since his return to Anfield in 2018.

Lijnders told Liverpool’s club website: “I always said I will finish with Jurgen; the moment I will not assist anyone else, that’s the moment I will go and I will manage. That was always the case. So when we spoke, it was clear for me: OK, then I go and manage, and we end this project together [that] we started.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Lijnders previously coached at PSV Eindhoven and Porto before being brought to Anfield in 2014. When the former manager Brendan Rodgers was sacked, they urged Klopp to keep Lijnders and the two men formed a strong bond.

“He’s more than a colleague of course,” Lijnders added. “He’s a friend, a brother, a proper football brother, I think. We’ve been through a lot here: good times, bad times. I have full trust, we trust each other fully, that’s why it works.

“The way he gives me the freedom to lead the team, to design the training, to make tactical decisions, that says everything, no? It’s sad that we go but I’m excited [for] what’s ahead.

“It’s not easy, leaving such a club. But in life I feel always you have to do the right thing and the right thing means that in the summer we said we continue and we go with all we have, we make it ‘the Last Dance’, we make it like a proper ending.”