With Jurgen Klopp's departure from Liverpool looming, all eyes will be on his next job.
He wants to get some time before he decides where he goes next, and there will no doubt be several top clubs trying to convince him to move on.
Two other positions discussed were national team positions for Germany and the United States.
But are either jobs realistic? Raphael Honigstein and Alexander Ebony explain.
Germany: The whole nation wants it
Since Joachim Low oversaw a disastrous group-stage exit at the World Cup in Russia in 2018, Klopp has served as shadow coach of the national team, the man who was set to take over as Germany coach when the stars aligned over Liverpool and Frankfurt, where the German Football Association (DFB). . ) Based on.
His angry behavior on the touchline at Borussia Dortmund did not please everyone. But the outpouring of love that a more mature Klopp has encountered during his transformative spell on Merseyside has turned the last remaining doubters in his native country into fans. If 83 million Germans were to elect the next Bundestrainer, he would poll figures along the lines of North Korea in the 1990s. There is no one more popular, even outside football.
Klopp has repeatedly declared his interest in the German national team job in principle, and did so again in a podium discussion with one of his marketing partners last July. The 56-year-old Klopp said: “It will be a great honor for me to be coach of the national team, without a doubt. The problem is my loyalty. I can't leave Liverpool and say: “I'll coach Germany for a while.” This won't work. There was no approach either.
This is not entirely true. Powerbrokers first reached out to Klopp's inner circle at the end of Low's tenure. The coach was going through a difficult period after winning the Premier League title, and DFB chiefs thought he might appreciate the slower pace of life as national team manager after the 2022 World Cup.
However, Loew's resignation after the European Championship – announced in March 2021, just months before the tournament – changed the federation's timetable. They needed an urgent replacement and chose Hansi Flick. The former Bayern Munich coach did not continue in charge beyond September 2023 following a poor showing in Qatar, but by then, Klopp had begun a new season with a rejuvenated Liverpool. The German Football Association did not see any realistic opportunity to sign him and settled on Julian Nagelsmann, whose contract runs until the end of Euro 2024.
Read more about Klopp's departure
At the aforementioned sponsorship event last summer, Klopp explained the importance of timing with Germany's mission. “If I'm going to do this one day, I need to be available. I'm not at the moment. I have a responsibility to the club,” he said.
By informing Liverpool's owners of his decision to resign six months ago, Klopp fulfilled that responsibility and also ensured that his presence would finally coincide with the national job. The fact that he is building a house in Wiesbaden, near Frankfurt, and his desire to spend more time with his first grandchild, provide clues to his personal and professional future.
Having cited a lack of energy in his departure from England, he is unlikely to return for the UEFA Nations League in September. However, a nine-month break until the start of 2026 World Cup qualifiers in March 2025 will provide him enough time to recharge his batteries. After coaching three highly emotional clubs in Mainz, Dortmund and Liverpool, stirring the emotions of an entire nation, albeit with a much longer break, must be attractive.
If Klopp does indeed say 'ja' to the 2025 scenario, the DFB will have to look for another solution to plug the gap, either by extending Nagelsmann's deal or finding another caretaker manager to beat them to the ground. But they consider this a small price to pay for securing the man the entire nation wants in power.
There are plenty of USMNT fans, desperate to elevate the team, who see Klopp's resignation as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to bring in a coach with a unique blend of charisma and a world-class track record.
The US men's team is among the youngest and most coachable teams in the world, and is full of players with the speed and aggression that Klopp loves. Off the field, Klopp's lively personality and sense of humor will be on the American sporting scene, and his profile will build legitimacy for the US Soccer Federation. This would continue the shift in attitude towards football in a country often overshadowed by the star power of other sports.
But barring an unexpected, reality-altering change in the NFL, that won't happen.
For one thing, the United States rehired Gregg Berhalter as head coach less than a year ago. His 2022 World Cup team may not have dramatically exceeded expectations by reaching the last 16, but key players have publicly backed his return. The fact that US Soccer has reassigned Berhalter at all after a long and very public controversy involving the Reyna family should show how committed the federation is to making it work. In all likelihood, it will take a disastrous showing at the US-hosted 2024 Copa America for the US Soccer Federation to consider a change.
Even if that happens, the financial reality suggests Klopp would struggle to be a realistic candidate. In its most recent public financial disclosures for the financial year ending March 2022, the US FA reported a loss of around $22m (£17.3m). This loss is largely offset by assets, and a media rights agreement approved by the union in 2023 may also change the picture. But the Etihad is unlikely to be sitting on a huge pile of money that it can afford to spend on Klopp or any other coach in his tax bracket.
Berhalter's previous contract paid about $1.6 million per year, and reports on Emma Hayes' deal to become USWNT coach indicate that she and Berhalter will make about $2 million per year from now on. Most reports peg Klopp's base salary at Liverpool at around $19 million. Germany may not be able to offer precisely that much, but it can almost certainly come closer to the American Union.
(Top photo: Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)
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