Liverpool supporters hoping that Jurgen Klopp will be persuaded to stay on at the club for even longer than he’s planned might have to remember that he has already committed to doing just that.
Having been in charge at both Mainz and Borussia Dortmund for seven years each, the general consensus was that Klopp would do the same at Anfield when he signed a six-year extension to his contract in the summer of 2016.
Klopp had been appointed in the October of the previous year, taking his team to the League Cup and Europa League finals despite not being in charge for a full season.
With a contract now running up until 2022, Klopp remained tight-lipped on his future with many expecting him to honour the deal and then walk away from the club.
The announcement in December 2019, then, that he had extended his deal until 2024 came as something of a shock to many, but it was clear that it was the players he has at his disposal that made up the German’s mind.
The weekend’s announcement to SWR Sport that he will return to Germany after the next “four years in Liverpool” shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise then, with Klopp’s comments after he signed that contract last year shedding some light on his thinking.
“This team will always be the core set, the basis for all other teams following,’ said Klopp in December, six months before he would guide that team to the Premier League title.
“There is no need to make the same number of changes that we made in the last four and a half years in the next four and a half years. Absolutely not.
“This is an outstanding team and we never could have imagined we could get a group like this together but of course there will be things.
“A player might want to leave which is OK, then we have to bring in the right replacement. To keep the level we are on we have to be really on our toes.
‘You need to change sometimes a little bit and that is what we will do. This squad is outstanding, we all love it, but we have to stay on track as other teams don’t sleep. So we don’t sleep.”
As well as the core players at his disposal, Klopp also discussed the futures of youngsters he has already begun to integrate into his team.
“This contract is very good news for all the young players in the academy,” he added.
“I know the boys already who are in now like Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott.
“Harvey turns 21 when my contract ends! That is all great news for these boys.
“We want to use them. We want to involve them in the team and all that stuff. Understanding the culture of the club more and more made the decision at the end really sensationally easy. Just to say, ‘That’s right — let’s do it!’