The news comes as an almighty surprise to Liverpool fans and rival supporters alike, with the 56-year-old making the decision to bring an end to his trophy-laden nine-year tenure on Merseyside.
Klopp will undoubtedly go down as an all-time Liverpool great after winning six major trophies with the Reds, including the the 2019/20 Premier League and the Champions League – the club’s sixth European title – back in 2018/19.
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The German took over the reins at Anfield with Liverpool starved of silverware back in 2015 and has returned the club to the very top of the global game, leaving enormous shoes to fill when he steps down from his position in the summer.
With Liverpool sitting five points clear at the top of the Premier League table, Klopp will be desperate to end his reign on a high – but the search must now begin behind the scenes to decide the manager’s replacement.
Steven Gerrard had long been touted as Klopp’s potential successor. However, the former Liverpool captain’s managerial career has stagnated and he recently penned a contract extension with Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Ettifaq.
Gerrard does, though, still find himself among the bookmakers’ favourites to take over from Klopp, along with several high-profile names from across the game including Xabi Alonso, Julian Nagelsmann and Jose Mourinho.
Who are the bookmakers’ favourites to replace Klopp? Latest odds
Next permanent Liverpool manager (Betfair)
Xabi Alonso – 8/11
Pepijn Lijnders – 7/1
Roberto De Zerbi – 17/2
Zinedine Zidane – 17/2
Julian Nagelsmann – 11/1
Steven Gerrard – 11/1
Ange Postecoglou – 14/1
Ruben Amorim – 20/1
Hansi Flick – 20/1
Diego Simeone – 25/1
Jose Mourinho – 25/1
Graham Potter – 25/1
Luis Enrique – 25/1
Thomas Frank – 25/1
Luciano Spalletti – 25/1
Antonio Conte – 33/1
Rafa Benitez – 40/1
Liverpool confirmed in a statement that Klopp’s assistant managers would depart with the ex-Mainz and Borussia Dortmund boss, but Betfair – at the time of writing – have Pepijn Lijnders as 7/1 to take over the reins on a permanent basis for the 2024/25 campaign.
Ex-Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso is being backed as the favourite to succeed Klopp with odds of 8/11. The Spaniard has worked wonders at Bayer Leverkusen this term, with his side unbeaten in the Bundesliga and leading the German top flight by four points.
Roberto De Zerbi, meanwhile, is being backed at 17/2 to become Liverpool manager after impressing as Brighton’s head coach over the last two seasons after leaving Shakhtar Donetsk.
Moving further down the list, Julian Nagelsmann has odds of 11/1 to succeed his fellow countryman in the dugout at Anfield. The 36-year-old was sacked as Bayern Munich head coach last March and has been in charge of the Germany national side since September.
Diego Simeone, Jose Mourinho, Graham Potter, Luis Enrique, Thomas Frank and Luciano Spalletti are all viewed as outside bets at 25/1, while ex-Tottenham and Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is backed at 33/1.
Rafael Benitez has been handed odds of 40/1 to return to Merseyside, nearly two decades after steering Liverpool to the Champions League. The 63-year-old – who also lifted the FA Cup with the Reds – is currently the manager of Celta Vigo.
An emotional Klopp vowed never to manage another English club as he made the shock announcement in an interview with Liverpool’s official website.
‘If you ask me, “Will you ever work as a manager again?” I would say now no,’ the former Dortmund head coach said.
‘But I don’t know obviously how that will feel because I never had the situation. What I know definitely is I will never, ever manage a different club in England than Liverpool, 100 per cent. That’s not possible.
‘My love for this club, my respect for the people is too big. I couldn’t. I couldn’t for a second think about it. There’s no chance. This is part of my life, we are part of the family, we feel home here. There’s no chance to do that.
‘But all the rest, will I ever work again? Of course, I know myself, I cannot just sit around. I will find something else maybe to do.
‘But I will not manage a club or a country at least for a year, that’s not possible, I cannot do that and I don’t want to. That’s all.’
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