Jurgen Klopp is at the top Real Madrid’s shortlist for their next managerial appointment, but Liverpool fans should not be concerned with this development.
Real suffered humiliation at the hands of Ajax in the Champions League last 16, losing 4-1 at the Bernabeu on Tuesday night to exit through a 5-3 aggregate defeat.
Having beaten Liverpool in the final less than 12 months ago, this marks a downfall for Madrid, who are also 12 points behind leaders Barcelona and five adrift of second-placed Atletico Madrid in La Liga.
And while Santiago Solari is likely to stay in the dugout until the end of the campaign, Real are believed to be preparing for a hard reset in the summer.
This, according to the Independent‘s Miguel Delaney, has seen them identify Klopp as their primary target to replace the Argentine.
Delaney claims the Liverpool manager is ahead of Mauricio Pochettino, Max Allegri and Jose Mourinho in their shortlist as they look to herald an “exciting new era for the club.”
“The Madrid hierarchy want a manager who restores ‘excitement and happiness’,” Delaney adds, with president Florentino Perez “hugely impressed” with Klopp’s work at Anfield.
But this is exactly why the German is near guaranteed to turn down any approach from Real, as he builds a legacy on Merseyside.
Klopp has already turned Madrid down on one occasion shortly after his departure from Borussia Dortmund in 2015, prompting the appointment of Rafa Benitez, while Klopp joined us four months later.
The manager has continually expressed his desire to stay with Liverpool for at least seven years, with his contract due to expire in 2022.
Delaney concedes that “the Bernabeu hierarchy are aware he could be as difficult to prise from Anfield as Pochettino is from Tottenham.”
And German journalist Rafa Honigstein even suggested in February it was “99.9 percent” likely Klopp would extend his deal with the Reds beyond his current agreement.
Klopp is currently leading the most convincing challenge for the title since the Premier League‘s inception, sitting just one point behind Man City with nine games to play.
Joining Real would jar with his ethos, despite the prestige of leading such a famous side, and it is highly unlikely he would even consider a switch to Madrid at this stage.