Feyenoord respond to Liverpool’s interest in manager Arne Slot | Football

Arne Slot has emerged as a candidate to replace Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool (Picture: Getty)

Feyenoord technical director Dennis te Kloese says the club ‘assume’ Arne Slot will still be in charge next season amid speculation the manager is being lined up by Liverpool.

Xabi Alonso had been identified as Liverpool’s first-choice target but the Merseyside giants have been forced to look elsewhere, with the Spaniard committing his immediate future to Bayer Leverkusen, the newly crowned Bundesliga champions.

The likes of Ruben Amorim, Roberto De Zerbi and Thiago Motta have been tentatively linked in recent weeks and Feyenoord boss Slot has emerged as one of the leading candidates for the role, with odds slashed on the 45-year-old succeeding Jurgen Klopp in recent days.

Tottenham explored a move for Slot before going on to hire Ange Postecoglou last summer and the Dutchman subsequently put pen to paper on a new three-year deal with Feyenoord.

However, Liverpool are confident their superior pulling power could lure Slot to Anfield should they step up their pursuit at the end of the season and Feyenoord are bracing themselves for a fight to keep hold of their head coach, who steered the club to their first Eredivisie title in six years last term.

‘I think it is logical that he finds himself in such a good position,’ Te Kloese told ESPN when quizzed on the speculation surrounding Slot’s future in the wake of Feyenood’s KNVB Cup triumph at the weekend.

‘It is very special how he has conducted himself in recent years and he has really given Feyenoord a face. We responded by extending his contract.

Arne Slot celebrates with the KNVB Cup

Slot steered Feyenoord to KNVB Cup glory at the weekend (Picture: Getty)

‘In any case, we assume that he will also be our coach next year.

‘We have experienced this situation before and will take good care of our own interests.’

Klopp steps down at Liverpool after nine trophy-laden years in the summer (Picture: Getty)

Dutch icon Marco van Vasten has been bowled over by the job Slot has done at Feyenoord and believes his fellow countryman has the qualities to succeed at a club of Liverpool’s stature.

‘I think he’s really good,’ Van Basten said of Slot on Ziggo Sport.

‘I hope he stays in the Netherlands longer because it is an enrichment for Dutch football. He can really go anywhere – Bayern Munich, Liverpool… I’m really convinced of that.

‘I’ve spoken to him a few times and I think what he does and what he sees is very strong. He gets along very well with the group of players, is tactically well-versed, can explain things well and is calm and intelligent. I think he can go to any club, even at the very difficult clubs, because he is so intelligent.

‘He has a lot of qualities and he shows it at every level. He first did it at AZ Alkmaar, and now at Feyenoord. And Feyenoord is a really complicated club. He has been doing well for three years, while PSV and Ajax have much more options in terms of money.

‘He could really fit anywhere. If you get AZ and Feyenoord to play football, you also get big clubs like AC Milan to play football. You can clearly see his hand where he is the coach.

‘I think it will even be easier for him at a higher level because he has better players who understand his ideas faster. I also think he is smart enough to manage stubborn players.’

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