Jurgen Klopp: Contenders to replace long-serving Liverpool boss including Bayer Leverkusen and Brighton men

Long-serving managers are a rarity in modern football, making Jurgen Klopp’s decision to leave Liverpool all the more significant.

Nearly a decade has passed since Klopp took the reins at Anfield, tasked with breathing life into a club stuck in a cycle of ebbs and flows. The Reds had not lifted the Premier League title for 25 years, consistently falling short while rivals basked in glory.

Klopp restored pride at Anfield and brought an end to their agonising wait for a Premier League trophy in 2020. His tenure has featured six trophy wins, including a Champions League triumph in 2019.

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However, the German has informed fans of his intention to stand down from his post at the end of the season. In a farewell statement, he said: “I can understand that it’s a shock for a lot of people in this moment, when you hear it for the first time, but obviously I can explain it – or at least try to explain it.

Jurgen Klopp is set to stand down as manager of Liverpool. Image: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty ImagesJurgen Klopp is set to stand down as manager of Liverpool. Image: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images
Jurgen Klopp is set to stand down as manager of Liverpool. Image: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

“I love absolutely everything about this club, I love everything about the city, I love everything about our supporters, I love the team, I love the staff. I love everything. But that I still take this decision shows you that I am convinced it is the one I have to take.

“It is that I am, how can I say it, running out of energy. I have no problem now, obviously, I knew it already for longer that I will have to announce it at one point, but I am absolutely fine now. I know that I cannot do the job again and again and again and again.

“After the years we had together and after all the time we spent together and after all the things we went through together, the respect grew for you, the love grew for you and the least I owe you is the truth – and that is the truth.”

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The future is now uncertain for Liverpool, who are in need of a new manager for the first time since 2015. With that in mind, The Yorkshire Post has assessed some potential heirs to Klopp’s Liverpool throne.

Xabi Alonso

The 42-year-old is not a name to be dismissed as a choice of the sentimental romantics. Alonso was adored as a player at Liverpool and his technical excellence won him plaudits across the globe.

Considering how tactically savvy he was as a player, it is perhaps no surprise that he has taken to management like a duck to water. Having cut his teeth as a coach in Real Madrid’s academy and Real Sociedad's second-string side, he is now making his name as the main man at Bayer Leverkusen.

Die Werkself currently sit top of the Bundesliga, unbeaten in their opening 18 league games.

Roberto De Zerbi

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Stepping into the shoes of Graham Potter at Brighton & Hove Albion was never going to be easy. However, the Seagulls have continued their upward trajectory under De Zerbi. His tactical acumen and astute decision-making has won him plenty of admirers and a step up to a club like Liverpool could be a natural progression for the Italian.

Julian Nagelsmann

The 36-year-old only took charge of the German national team last year, although the Liverpool job is one that could arguably attract most managers. Nagelsmann has defied his tender years in management, enjoying success with RB Leipzig and Bayern Munich before moving into international management.

His preference for gegenpressing could also prove tempting for the Liverpool hierarchy, as it would offer some continuity.