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Juergen Klopp to take a break after Liverpool stint

Reds boss again hints he could leave Anfield after his contract expires in 2022

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said yesterday that he expects to take a break from football to recharge his batteries once his tenure at the reigning European champions comes to an end.

Klopp, who joined Liverpool in 2015 and has a contract till 2022, led the club to the Champions League title last season while finishing a close second to Manchester City in the English Premier League.

When asked if he was planning to take a sabbatical when his contract ends, Klopp told German magazine Kicker: "It looks like it. Who can now say if he can give it his all in three years' time?

"If I decide for myself that I can't go on any more, I'll take a break, and in that year, I'd have to make a definite decision (over my career).

"I have absolute energy, but I have one problem; I can't do 'a little bit'. I can only do 'all or nothing'.

"But the chances are very high that my energy levels will go up again (after a year's break), and that I can then do the job the way I want to."

This is the second time Klopp has broached the topic in recent times.

Last week, he told German publication Sport Bild: "I hope for now that the next two or three years will continue in the same way, and then I will decide.

"Everything is possible. So just that I stop completely, is just possible.

"Whether that is the case or not - I really do not know.

"I'm just saying that so you will not be surprised when it happens."

The 52-year-old has been repeatedly linked with the German national team and Bayern Munich.

Klopp jokingly told Sport Bild: "In the order in which I'd like to do it: I want to coach the German national team, then Bayern Munich, then back to (Borussia) Dortmund and then Liverpool for life."

Bayern, however, are deadly serious in their interest in the former Dortmund boss.

In June, former Bayern president and club legend Franz Beckenbauer said: "I want nothing more than to see Klopp come to Bayern one day, it would be a good fit.

"Juergen brought a new type of football to Germany... What he began in Dortmund, he has refined in Liverpool...

"A job in England robs you of energy. As a manager in the English Premier League, you have more responsibility than as a coach in the Bundesliga.

"With the two cup competitions and the slightly larger league, the amount of games is considerably higher than it is in Germany."

The club's current president Uli Hoeness said in February that he almost made then-Mainz 05 coach Klopp Bayern's boss in 2008.


He said: "Personally, I have a high opinion of Juergen Klopp.

"Many years ago, we agreed on a collaboration together, but we ended up signing Juergen Klinsmann instead."

Meanwhile, the German football association (DFB) are also keen on Klopp eventually succeeding World Cup-winning coach Joachim Loew.

When asked about the prospect of the Liverpool boss coaching Die Mannschaft, Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff told Sport Bild in June: "We want to develop internationally successful coaches, and Klopp is a model example in this regard.

"He has a fire burning inside of him. At the end of the day, I think it would be interesting and an honour for every coach to work for the German national team."

Klopp has admitted the job of German national coach interests him, telling Die Welt: "Should I be asked at some point when I would be available, then I would think about it."

So who should replace the charismatic German in the Anfield hot seat when he does eventually take his one-year sabbatical?

For former Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek, there is only one option - Reds legend and Rangers manager Steven Gerrard.

The Champions League winner told Polish sports daily Przegląad Sportowy: "There are many reasons for his success (at Rangers).

"Steven has a nose for a good player, he can cope with difficult conditions and he has surrounded himself with the right people, like Gary McAllister, who is in some ways his football mentor, because he helped him a lot at Liverpool.

"Steven also has the opportunity to use the wisdom of Juergen Klopp.

"When I was in Liverpool recently, it was no secret that Steven is the man, and indeed the only candidate for replacing Klopp when he decides his time at Anfield is over.

"Everyone knows that sooner or later the great captain will return."