Almost every club in Europe would love to hire the German manager, who says he has no plans to take a sabbatical
Jurgen Klopp has confirmed he is quitting Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season – a decision that will start a scrum for his services.
Klopp, who won two Bundesliga title and led the club to the Champions League final, is standing down on July 1. He has immediately been linked with move to the Premier League.
“I have no plans to take a sabbatical but I have no plans arranged with other clubs, nothing at all,” Klopp told a Press conference in Germany.
“You can imagine how unbelievably tough this is to leave behind something as brilliant as this. It’s extremely difficult to say it, but we’re professionals and you have to make a decision. I believe the decision is absolutely correct. This club deserves to be coached by someone who is 100 per cent the right person for the job, and a decision had to be made. I have asked myself in the last weeks and days if I am the right manager and could not answer with a ‘yes’.
“No-one needs to be grateful to me. It‘s been a fairy-tale journey. Both sides have invested and gained so much. I will always support this extraordinary club.”
Jurgen Klopp confirmed he was leaving Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday
Klopp has been on the shortlist for virtually every major job in Europe in recent times, remaining loyal to Dortmund despite numerous offers.
The 47-year-old has often spoken of his ambition to coach in England but both Manchester City and Arsenal have distanced themselves from a move for the German in the immediate aftermath of his announcement.
Arsenal expect Arsene Wenger to see out the remaining two years of his deal at The Emirates, and although the pressure is increasing on Manuel Pellegrini City insist there is no connection between Klopp’s availability and the Chilean’s future.
That is not stopping assumptions Klopp will become a target if Pellegrini loses the support of the City hierarchy after failing to defend the Premier League title or address the club’s failure to compete in Europe.
Of all the Premier League clubs expected to competing for a Champions League place next season, City would seem most likely to have a vacancy in the near future.
Klopp has been Dortmund manager since 2008
Klopp is evidently seeking a new challenge after a tough season in the Bundesliga. In recent years he has been fighting a losing battle against Bayern Munich’s wealth and power, seeing one too many of his charges lured to The Allianz Arena, ripping up his title winning team.
Striker Robert Lewandowski became the latest to move from Dortmund to Bayern last summer.
A chance to join a club that can compete in the transfer market would make a refreshing change for him.
Although City will inevitably be seen as a possible destination, others in England have long been recognised as more likely suitors.
Klopp has been depicted as a German Wenger, a professor of football. Whenever Wenger has been under pressure it is Klopp’s name most often in the frame, but the Arsenal manager looks as secure now as he has in some time.
The German manager has been compared to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
Arsenal believe Wenger will stay for at least another two years, and he will surely only leave The Emirares on his terms. With an FA Cup and Premier League title challenge still (just about) ticking, it’s hard to imagine a change in North London anytime soon.
Three years ago, Liverpool would have rolled the red carpet for Klopp in the aftermath of Kenny Dalglish’s sacking, but when he ruled himself out of contention they opted for a manager to enforce the Borussia Dortmund blueprint in Brendan Rodgers.
Although Liverpool are likely to miss out on the Champions League this season, the idea of tearing up the long-term plan after three years would be expensive and contradictory given how much faith was placed in Rodgers with a new deal last summer. This season has disappointed but the mitigating factors – not least the absence of strikers – are plentiful and Rodgers can’t be held solely responsible.
One can only imagine current Anfield interest in Klopp as part of a contingency plan in the unlikely event of Rodgers moving on.
In truth, every Premier League team in England will have had Klopp on their wishlist at some stage, with some even suggesting West Ham will make a move this summer. Whether the London club could seriously attract a manager who is seen as possible future Real Madrid and Barcelona coach is another matter.