26 January 2024

Xabi Alonso and Steven Gerrard contenders to succeed Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool

26 January 2024

Jurgen Klopp will stand down as Liverpool manager at the end of the season.

The 56-year-old has informed the club’s ownership of his shock decision after a hugely successful spell in charge which has – so far – yielded six major trophies, including the Premier League in 2020 and 2019 Champions League.

Here, the PA news agency looks at some of the possible contenders to succeed Klopp at Anfield.

Steven Gerrard

Gerrard looked a potential Liverpool manager in waiting after starting his coaching career with the youth teams at Anfield and then enjoying success at Rangers, leading the Scottish giants to their first league title for 10 years. However, he failed to repeat such success at Aston Villa and was sacked after just two wins in the first 12 league games of the 2022-23 season and subsequently made a controversial move to Al-Ettifaq in Saudi Arabia.

Xabi Alonso

Another former Anfield favourite, Alonso began his coaching career with a Real Madrid youth team before being appointed Real Sociedad B boss in 2019. Alonso guided the club to promotion in his second season in charge, but left the following season with relegation guaranteed with a game to spare. The 42-year-old is currently in charge of Bayer Leverkusen, who are unbeaten in the Bundesliga this season and top the table by four points from Bayern Munich.

Roberto De Zerbi

Former Sassuolo and Shakhtar Donetsk manager De Zerbi would certainly match Klopp’s passion on the touchline, the 44-year-old serving two bans last season and admitting in November he does not like “80 per cent of English referees”. On the pitch, De Zerbi guided Brighton into Europe for the first time in their history and they topped Group B of the Europa League to reach the last 16.

Julian Nagelsmann

News of Klopp’s departure was quickly linked with the future of Germany head coach Nagelsmann, whose short-term contract with the national team ends after this summer’s European Championships. Could the pair simply swap roles? Nagelsmann made his name at Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig before winning the Bundesliga title and DFL-Supercup in his first season at Bayern Munich.

Jose Mourinho

The former Porto, Chelsea and Manchester United manager is out of work after being sacked by Roma earlier this month with the side ninth in Serie A. Mourinho won three Premier League titles, the FA Cup and three League Cups during two spells in charge of Chelsea after winning the Champions League with Porto. The 61-year-old also won the Champions League as manager of Inter Milan and claimed the LaLiga title with Real Madrid, but would have plenty of work to do to win over Liverpool fans.

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