Borussia Dortmund have parted company with reserve team coach David Wagner, who is expected to join up with Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool.
Wagner has been in charge of Borussia Dortmund II since 2011 and leaves the German side citing “a new sporting challenge after a great time at Dortmund.”
In a statement released by Dortmund, it is explained that Wagner has already entered contract negotiations with another club.
ESPN report that “When Klopp joined Liverpool in October, local media in Dortmund reported that Wagner could follow his old boss to Anfield.”
Adding that “Wagner was Klopp’s best man at his wedding, while the Reds boss is the godfather of his former colleague’s youngest daughter, with their friendship dating back to their days as players at Mainz.”
Wagner has an American father and represented the USA in the 1990s, as a striker. He played alongside Klopp at Mainz, with the two being roommates for four years.
He holds a UEFA Pro License and his first coaching job was as Under-17 coach at Hoffenheim. An article profiling Wagner earlier this year outlined his close relationship with Klopp in creating a one-club structure: “It’s not uncommon for Klopp to join Wagner at his training sessions, and vice versa, and the two are constantly exchanging ideas. The first and second teams might play in different divisions, but at Dortmund they can seem almost like one big team, with the two head coaches side-by-side.”
Klopp has thus far added only two coaches – assistants Zeljko Buvac and Peter Krawietz – with three having left their roles at the first team (Sean O’Driscoll, Gary McAllister and Chris Davies). Although, Pepijn Lijnders has taken a more active role with the first team since Klopp’s appointment.
Last week Klopp hinted at wanting to change Liverpool’s approach to youth development and the club’s loan policy, saying “Maybe we need to cool down the situation a little bit, hold on to these guys longer and let them play in our second team and develop as a team.”
Whether Wagner takes up a role with the first-team squad or is involved at the academy will be interesting to see.
Liverpool’s current under-21 coach is Michael Beale, who was appointed to the role in August 2014 when Liverpool restructured their youth system and appointed Alex Inglethorpe to academy director.