Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool exit plan, secret contract clause and his most likely replacement

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It's not something Liverpool fans want to think about, and for the time being at least it's not going to be a concern.

But Jurgen Klopp has quite openly discussed his future in the press, pointing out that the days of someone like Sir Alex Ferguson managing for 26 years are long gone and that at some point in the future he will be passing on the baton at Anfield.

The German has made clear when he intends to leave Liverpool, revealed the parts of the job he doesn't like, and has even discussed what he plans to do in the future both in football and in life in general.

Here we look at everything Klopp has said about leaving Liverpool, reveal what role a special clause in his contract will play, and look at his most likely replacement.

Jurgen Klopp has promised to manage Liverpool until 2024
(Image: PA)

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His plans on leaving

As aforementioned, Klopp has spoken openly about his plans for the future, and got the ball rolling as far back as 2019, when he suggested he was feeling the strain of the job and dropped the first hint that a sabbatical was on the cards.

Speaking to Kicker magazine, the German said: "I have absolute energy. But I have one problem. I can't do 'a little bit'. I can only do 'all or nothing'.

"When I decide that I cannot do it any longer then I will take a break for a year."

His comments caused no alarm bells to ring, but the sentiment became something of a theme when he was asked to discuss his future from there on.

Klopp got more bold with his admissions, telling SWR Sport in July 2020 he has plans to move back to Germany when he leaves Liverpool.

"Definitely to live, after my career. Most likely even to Mainz," he explained, adding he'd spend "four [more] years in Liverpool," before heading home.

Back in Germany he explained he'd "do nothing for a year," but may consider going back into football management after that.

"In five years the world can look very different again," he concluded.

A month later in August Klopp spoke to Germany publication SportBuzzer, where he doubled down on his previous comments and even suggested he could retire from football entirely.

Klopp has plans to return to Germany
(Image: POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

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"I'll take a year off and ask myself if I miss football," explained Klopp. "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."

And then in September the German told Einfach Fussbal: "When I leave Liverpool, I won't take a new job the next day. That's for sure. I will take a one-year break after Liverpool."

When reading through his comments chronologically like this it feels as if Klopp has had enough and that he is desperate to leave Liverpool.

But this is not the case at all. In December 2019, as he actively committed himself to the club for another five years – making this the longest time he's ever spent in charge of one team – he revealed his love for Liverpool.

"For me personally this is a statement of intent, one which is built on my knowledge of what we as a partnership have achieved so far and what is still there for us to achieve," said Klopp.

"When I see the development of the club and the collaborative work that continues to take place, I feel my contribution can only grow.

"People see what happens on the pitch as a measure of our progress and although it is the best measure, it's not the only measure. I have seen the commitment from ownership through to every aspect and function of the club you can think of.

"When the call came in autumn 2015, I felt we were perfect for each other; if anything, now I feel I underestimated that. It is only with a total belief that the collaboration remains totally complementary on both sides that I am able to make this commitment to 2024."

Clause in his contract

As Klopp has made quite clear in his comments about his future, he plans to leave the UK once he cuts ties with Liverpool and return to Germany.

And it seems Liverpool are prepared to help Klopp in any way they can.

When Klopp put pen to paper on his new deal in December 2019, Liverpool ensured a clause was inserted in the contract, which would see the club help the German move back home once his time at Anfield has come to an end.

Simply, the clause ensures Klopp's move to Germany would be overseen by Liverpool to ensure it is a smooth one.

Klopp has won the Premier League with Liverpool
(Image: POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

It is not unheard of for a club to help a manager – or a player for that matter – settle into a new area after they first agree terms.

Football clubs have been known to assist with everything from finding suitable schools for their children to sorting accommodation.

They do this to remove as much stress from the situation as possible, allowing their new signing to focus solely on the job they've been brought in to do.

Assisting a manager's exit however is a little unusual, but shows the bond and respect shared between Klopp and Liverpool goes both ways.

Most likely replacement

There will be hundreds of managers linked with the Liverpool manager's job once Klopp decides it's time to leave.

Some will be genuine contenders, and some will have thrown their own hat in the ring for a chance of managing one of the biggest and best teams in the world.

One name that has continually cropped up is Steven Gerrard.

The former Liverpool captain is a modern day Reds legend in every sense of the word and would be welcomed to the club by fans with open arms.

Gerrard is currently managing Rangers, where he has showed an aptitude for coaching, with the Scottish giants top of the league, 21 points clear of champions Celtic.

A number of pundits have talked up the possibility of Gerrard replacing Klopp, with Jamie Redknapp telling The Lockdown Tactics Podcast: "Stevie is in Scotland and doing well. Yes, it's not easy because Celtic are so strong.

"But Stevie has got it [as a manager], you can see that. I think after a few years at Rangers, and as long as he doesn't make too many mistakes, it's only a question of time before he manages Liverpool when Jurgen Klopp decides to go."

Gerrard has had the suggestion he could take over from Klopp put to him on more than one occasion, and has always modestly played it down.

Steven Gerrard is the current favourite to replace Klopp in 2024
(Image: Liverpool FC)

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"I understand why [people expect me to] because I was captain for so long and a large chunk of the fanbase would like me back at the club," Gerrard said in February 2020.

"But I'm bright enough to realise that, first and foremost, you have to be good enough.

"The owners need to think you're the right man. Am I ready for the Liverpool job right now? Maybe not."

He also later told The Athletic: "I get asked this question a lot and, for me, what will be will be. Would I love to be the coach of Liverpool one day? Is it a dream? Of course.

"It's a club that means everything to me but we've one of, if not the best, managers in the world who has been absolutely incredible since he came through the door.

"And the success he's delivered in the last couple of years means that Liverpool are in a fantastic place. Long may that continue.

"The club have been absolutely amazing with me throughout my playing career, I still watch all of the games, my relationships are still very strong, I've still got ex-team-mates playing in the team and that's where it is. There's nothing else to really discuss on it.

"The people who say that… who knows? It's very difficult to predict the future. Just because I was a good player for Liverpool and had the career I had there, doesn't necessarily mean you're next in line to be manager.

"You know and I know, if one day that job ever becomes available, there will be a queue a mile long, full of top-class managers. It doesn't mean you’re the best person for the job."

But for all the pundits tipping Gerrard to succeed Klopp, some have suggested it might not be the best idea, with Jamie Carragher among these.

Carragher said: "Stevie Gerrard's another one who's gone to Rangers – doing really well. Looks like he'll win the title this season. Would I want Steven Gerrard to be the Liverpool manager without more experience? Possibly not.

"Because I just think when you get those really big jobs and you haven't got that experience you've got nothing to fall back on when times are tough as they will be for the next few weeks for Frank [Lampard].

"Players of my generation, certainly me, I don't want to go down to the lower leagues and learn about coaching."

Will Steven Gerrard replace Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool boss? Have your say here.

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