Liver­pool may be last job, ad­mits Klopp

Ger­man to make de­ci­sion in 2025 fol­low­ing year off Wil­liams signs long-term deal af­ter break­out sea­son

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport | Football - By Ben Rumsby

Jur­gen Klopp has said that he plans to take a year off when his Liver­pool con­tract ex­pires – and that he may not re­turn to man­age­ment.

The Ger­man, whose deal has four more years to run, has not ruled out his cur­rent job be­ing his last in the game.

When asked by Sport­buzzer about his plans post-2024, Klopp said: “I’ll take a year off and ask my­self if I miss foot­ball. If I say no then that will be the end of coach Jur­gen Klopp. If one day I am no longer a coach, there is one thing I will not miss: the bru­tal ten­sion im­me­di­ately be­fore the game. That’s no laugh­ing mat­ter.”

Klopp had planned to have a year off af­ter leav­ing Borus­sia Dort­mund in the sum­mer of 2015, but he took the Liver­pool job that Oc­to­ber fol­low­ing the sack­ing of Bren­dan Rodgers.

He signed a con­tract ex­ten­sion in De­cem­ber af­ter lead­ing the An­field club to what proved an unas­sail­able lead at the top of the Premier League, end­ing their 30-year wait to be crowned cham­pi­ons of Eng­land.

Klopp has been rou­tinely linked to other jobs, in­clud­ing man­ag­ing Ger­many af­ter the 2022 World Cup, when Joachim Low plans to stand down.

Asked about his pop­u­lar­ity, he replied: “It wasn’t that long ago that Klopp could not win a fi­nal and cer­tainly not the Premier League in this life. Now the whole thing is dis­cussed and per­ceived dif­fer­ently.

“Of course, you would rather be pop­u­lar than un­pop­u­lar. Bet­ter slim than fat. And win­ning is also nicer than los­ing.”

Klopp and his Liver­pool side are in pre-sea­son train­ing in Aus­tria pre­par­ing for the Com­mu­nity Shield against Ar­se­nal a week on Satur­day.

They will be­gin the de­fence of their ti­tle two weeks later.

Klopp said: “We’re not de­fend­ing any ti­tles, we want to get new ones. We’ve only just started win­ning.

The whole club is up for the new sea­son and wants to do it even bet­ter. We want to chase our op­po­nents and con­tinue to be a su­per un­pleas­ant team that is not fun to play against.” Liver­pool’s trip to Aus­tria has co­in­cided with young full-back Neco Wil­liams sign­ing a new longterm con­tract.

The 19-year-old earned a Premier League win­ners’ medal last sea­son af­ter mak­ing six top-flight ap­pear­ances fol­low­ing his de­but in the Carabao Cup in Oc­to­ber. He said: “Last sea­son was my break­out sea­son, but the more games I play now, the more I train, I feel I am be­com­ing a bet­ter player.”

Back to work: Liver­pool are put through their paces dur­ing pre-sea­son train­ing in Aus­tria as man­ager Jur­gen Klopp (be­low) plans to build on last sea­son’s Premier League tri­umph

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