Sunday, April 14, 2024
HomeFootballKlopp successor? "Incredible" de Zerbi leaves Brighton floundering

Klopp successor? “Incredible” de Zerbi leaves Brighton floundering

Jürgen Klopp raved about the visiting coach after the 2-1 win over Brighton – his successor? Roberto de Zerbi certainly seems to know his position

Jürgen Klopp is not involved in the search for his successor, so he couldn’t care less how his statements about fellow coaches are interpreted. For example: Should Roberto de Zerbi take over Liverpool FC in the summer, Klopp would see the team in the very best hands.

“It’s incredible what he has achieved,” said Klopp on the BBC microphone after Liverpool’s 2:1 win over Brighton about the visiting coach, whom he had bumped into again during interviews shortly beforehand. “I told him to keep turning the soccer world upside down. I’ll watch it from a distance. I really respect what he’s doing.”

After falling behind early on, Liverpool only narrowly avoided a slip-up against Brighton, who are ninth in the table and have yet to write off another European Cup ticket. “Brighton have lost Alexis Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo, they have a lot of injured players, but he is putting together such a team. An incredible job,” enthused Klopp, who won against de Zerbi for the first time at the fifth attempt.

With Liverpool, FC Bayern and FC Barcelona, three top European clubs are looking for a new coach, and de Zerbi is the subject of speculation everywhere – sometimes more, sometimes less. After Xabi Alonso took himself off the market and committed to Bayer 04 Leverkusen, the 44-year-old Italian is considered a hot candidate by Liverpool, as is Ruben Amorim from Sporting Lisbon.

De Zerbi: “We both have to be happy – me and the club “

And de Zerbi seems to be well aware of his strong position. On Sunday, he left his future open despite a contract valid until 2026: “To work at Brighton next year, I don’t need to extend for another year or two. That doesn’t change anything. At the moment we’ve finished the talks about the contract, but not because I’ve already decided to leave, no, no. My focus is on Brighton for this season and next season – but before the next one starts, I want to have talks and listen to the plans for the team. I think that’s a serious thing.”

He wants to know “what the goal is and what we are playing for”, explained de Zerbi, who has already spoken to club owner Tony Bloom about the matter. “We will find a solution. We both have to be happy – me and the club.” Which probably means: If Brighton want to keep him, ambition and investment have to be right. Selling the strongest players for a lot of money once again is unlikely to fit in with this



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