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LFC Gossip: Paul Merson’s Endorsement to Replace Klopp and The Tug-of-War over Mo Salah

LFC Gossip: Paul Merson’s Endorsement to Replace Klopp and The Tug-of-War over Mo Salah

Jurgen Klopp has sent shockwaves through the entire Liverpool fanbase with the unexpected announcement of his departure from Anfield at the conclusion of the current season.

After 9 years and 410 games managing the Reds, the German manager is set to embark on a new journey, and so is the Merseyside club.

Setting aside Liverpool’s remarkable lead in the league and ongoing transfer window rumors, the current hot topics for Liverpool all revolves around speculations about potential successors for Jurgen Klopp.

Identifying the right person to step into Klopp’s shoes at Anfield will undoubtedly be a challenging task for the club, considering the significant legacy and impact he has had on the team.

One name that has frequently been on everyone’s lips is Xabi Alonso. And rightfully so. In a relatively young managerial career, he has done a remarkable job with Bayer Leverkusen as they have overturned Bayern Munich’s dominance to lead the Bundesliga. Moreover, he is no stranger to the Anfield dugout as well.

Sports television pundit for Sky Sports, Paul Merson, however, has raised his own concerns regarding Xabi Alonso.

While acknowledging Alonso’s promising tenure in Germany, Merson suggests that the club should not be staunchly fixated on him. Merson stated that, in the probable case of Xabi Alonso’s failure to lift the Bundesliga, the Merseyside club should consider other candidates as well. In his view, a fit choice for it could be the current Bayern Munich manager, Thomas Tuchel.

“If they had to hire a new manager tomorrow, I don’t think they’d look past Xabi Alonso, who has taken his Bayer Leverkusen side to the Bundesliga summit ahead of Bayern Munich,”. Expressed Paul Merson.

“However, by the end of the season, if Bayern Munich pip them for the title, then Liverpool could even look at Thomas Tuchel as a potential option.”

And we honestly can’t disagree with Paul here.

Sometimes, we all tend to forget Tuchel’s name among the list of influential managers in recent times. We all saw how he took command of a struggling Chelsea after Frank Lampard.

The German manager did a remarkable job at Stamford Bridge, winning the Champions League in 2022 with the Blues and also leading them to two FA Cup finals. Now, after his sacking, we are all witnessing how Chelsea has spiraled out of control.

Following his move to Bayern in 2023, he also won the Bundesliga in his debut campaign. But with the upsurge of Bayer Leverkusen, Tuchel’s possible future in Germany could be in the air, and the Liverpool job to replace Klopp could not be a better next step for the manager.

Klopp and Tuchel’s careers have long been intertwined. Both managed the German side Mainz – with the latter arriving at the club just a year after Klopp’s departure. Tuchel then replaced Klopp at Borussia Dortmund after he decided to leave the Westfalenstadion in June 2015. So, Tuchel knows very well how to effectively fill in Klopp’s shoes.

Moreover, Tuchel also has the experience in the Premier League and knows how to handle the pressure of managerial roles in big clubs. That will surely add a few brownie points to his CV.

The only thorn in his otherwise rosy deal could be the fact that Tuchel has an infamous reputation for having only short tenures at a club. Since leaving Mainz, he has not managed more than 127 games for a single side. Tuchel is arguably yet to prove that he can keep building world-class teams over a long period.

Having said that, Klopp’s departure is not the only concern for Liverpool. The fans fear that Klopp’s exit would bring the domino effect into play, and Mohamed Salah could also eye an exit door next summer.

According to reports, Liverpool superstar Mohamed Salah already has an ‘agreement in place’ regarding his potential move to the Saudi Pro League. We can’t confirm if the deal has already been sealed, but we can’t deny the possible lucrative interest from the Saudi Club.

It was initially feared that Salah would leave Liverpool during the 2023 summer transfer window as Saudi Pro League side Al-Ittihad made him one of their top targets. Al-Ittihad came up with a £150m bid for Salah towards the end of the transfer window, which Liverpool rejected right away. However, they are expected to renew their interest in the Egyptian international later this year.

Just when you think Klopp’s departure should be a heavy blow, then think what if even Salah leaves the club as well. With 14 goals in 20 matches, Salah has recorded the most goals for the club this season and has led the Liverpool frontline. If the Saudi club indeed manages to lure the Egyptian forward, Liverpool will have a tough time recovering from it.

However, The Athletic’s David Ornstein feels that the forward’s departure from Anfield isn’t ‘set in stone’ and hints that there are suggestions he’d like to stay and continue to play at the highest level in Europe. The Liverpool board has also claimed that Salah still has his contract till 2025 and won’t be part of the upheaval at Anfield in these tumultuous times.

It is clear that Saudi will knock the door this summer with a savory deal, and Liverpool will leave no stone unturned to hold back their star forward.