Thursday, December 8, 2022

Klopp signs new Liverpool contract

Klopp’s extended stay is also likely to influence the thinking of a number of players who are entering the final 12 months of their contracts.

• April 29, 2022
Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp [Credit: Metro]

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp is energised by the prospect of leading a “fresh” club to further glory after extending his stay at Anfield until 2026.

Negotiations over a two-year contract extension took little time and he is now looking forward to building on the incredible foundations he has created since arriving in October 2015.

The speed and timing of the agreement — plus extensions for his key assistants Pep Lijnders and Peter Krawietz — came as something of a surprise.

It has come at a time when the club is embroiled in the quest for an unprecedented quadruple.

Mike Gordon, president of owners Fenway Sports Group, flying in from the U.S. for Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League semi-final first-leg victory over Villarreal was the first sign something significant was happening.

Also, there was the appearance of Klopp’s agent Marc Kosicke in the directors’ box for the game.

Less than 24 hours later, the deal was done.

“There are so many words I could use to describe how I am feeling about this news … delighted, humbled, blessed, privileged and excited would be a start,” Klopp said. “Like any healthy relationship, it always has to be a two-way street. You have to be right for each other. The feeling we were absolutely right for each other is what brought me here in the first place and it’s why I’ve extended previously.”

He added, “This one is different because of the length of time we have been together. I had to ask myself the question: Is it right for Liverpool that I stay longer? Along with my two assistant managers, Pep Lijnders and Pete Krawietz, we came to the conclusion it was a ‘Yes!’ There is a freshness about us as a club still and this energised me.”

Last season, played behind closed doors when injuries to key players meant Liverpool’s defence of their first domestic title in 30 years never really got off the ground, took its toll on Klopp.

The usually-ebullient 54-year-old German lost a lot of his spark.

However, the form his team have shown since then has reinvigorated the Reds manager.

The League Cup is already secured, and an FA Cup final is to come soon.

Also, a 2-0 lead is being taken into next week’s UEFA Champions League semi-final second leg at Villarreal and a nail-biting Premier League title race against Manchester City is ahead.

“For as long as I have been here, our owners have been unbelievably committed and energetic about this club and it is clear that right now this applies to our future as much as I’ve ever known,” added Klopp.

He has guided the club to their sixth European Cup in 2019 and could yet repeat the feat this season.

“We are a club that is constantly moving in the right direction. We have a clear idea of what we want. We have a clear idea of how we will try to achieve it. That’s always a great position to start from,” he stated.

Klopp’s extended stay is also likely to influence the thinking of a number of players who are entering the final 12 months of their contracts.

This includes the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino — his original famed front three.

Only last week Salah gave an interview in which he said “I think the fans know what I want, but in the contract it’s not everything about the money at all.”

He has stressed on previous occasions he did not want to be paid “crazy stuff” but that he wanted to win the Premier League and Champions League again.

Gordon, speaking about the man who will become the club’s fourth longest-serving manager with this new contract, said, “Jurgen wanting to make our future to be as bright as our present is a big statement. We have to think at all times about improvement and we are now able to do this in the knowledge that we have retained a manager who not only shares our vision and ambition, he remains determined to deliver on it.”

(dpa/NAN)

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