Sun. Feb 25th, 2024

As soon as the shock of Jurgen Klopp leaving Liverpool at season’s end wore off, speculation moved into hyperdrive about his replacement.

An “orderly process” to pick a new manager will be conducted privately, Liverpool chief executive Billy Hogan said Friday.

“We won’t talk about other people, and we won’t get into the name game,” Hogan said.

Here’s a look at possible successors:

Xabi Alonso

The 42-year-old Spaniard has Bayer Leverkusen unbeaten atop the Bundesliga in his first full season in charge. He was hired by the German club in October 2022. The former Liverpool midfielder was immediately quizzed about his potential interest. At a news conference Friday, he said: “I am really happy here. I am enjoying my work here. I’m thinking about where I am right now. I am in a great place. … What’s going to happen in the future I don’t know, and I don’t really care at the moment.”

Roberto De Zerbi

The 44-year-old Italian shepherded Brighton into European competition for the first time in club history. Brighton finished sixth in the English Premier League last season and has reached the round of 16 in the Europa League. He took over in September 2022 after Graham Potter left for Chelsea. De Zerbi has also coached Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk and had stints with Sassuolo, Benevento and Palermo in Italy.

Julian Nagelsmann

The 36-year-old German is under contract as the coach of Germany through the European Championship this summer. He was Bayern’s youngest coach in 30 years when he was hired in 2021 after taking Leipzig to the Champions League semifinals. Bayern fired him last March and hired Thomas Tuchel.

Ange Postecoglou

The 58-year-old Australian is in his first season in charge at Tottenham. A hot start was followed by a slowdown, but the Spurs are in fifth place — three points from the top four and eight points back of first-placed Liverpool. Postecoglou won five trophies in his two seasons at Scottish club Celtic.

Steven Gerrard

The Liverpool great provides an example of how quickly circumstances can change. The 43-year-old Englishman had a successful managerial run at Scottish giant Rangers before taking charge at Aston Villa in what was seen as a warmup for the Liverpool gig. He didn’t last a year in Birmingham, though. Gerrard is coaching in Saudi Arabia.

Pepijn Lijnders

Liverpool confirmed that Lijnders, Klopp’s assistant coach, will also be leaving after this season. The 41-year-old Dutchman wants to pursue a managerial career. Hogan said “anything we can possibly do to help (his) career going forward, we will of course do.” Klopp said he’ll play no role in hiring his replacement: “The last thing they need is advice from the old man walking out and telling them, ‘By the way, make sure you take or bring him in,’ or whatever, and I will definitely not do that.”

Graham Potter

Like Gerrard at Villa, Potter’s step up from Brighton to Chelsea ended badly. He was fired after just six months in charge, but the 48-year-old Englishman could be due for another shot.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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