Jurgen Klopp has confirmed he will take a sabbatical when his time with Liverpool comes to an end, while hinting that he could leave the club in 2022.
Klopp joined the Reds early into the 2015/16 campaign, and in his four seasons so far has led them to the three top-four finishes, the Europa League final, the League Cup final and two Champions League finals, winning one.
Triumph in Madrid has made the German a legend on Merseyside, but despite his affinity with the club and the city, he has been fairly consistent in his plans for the future.
At both Mainz and Borussia Dortmund, Klopp stayed for seven years before departing, and with his contract with Liverpool set to expire at the end of 2021/22, this appears to be the agenda this time around too.
Speaking to kicker after being named their Manager of the Year, the 52-year-old stressed that he is planning to take a break when he leaves the Reds.
“I will take a sabbatical after my time at Liverpool,” he explained, in quotes provided by Forbes‘ Manuel Veth.
There is even the prospect of Klopp quitting management entirely once his Liverpool tenure draws to a close, though he added that the “likelihood is high” that he will continue.
“When I decide for myself that I can’t give everything anymore I will quit,” he continued.
“Who can say three years from now whether he can do everything or nothing?
“When that happens I will take a break for a year, that decision will come at the end of the season.
“[But] the likelihood is high that my energy levels will be where I need them to do this job.”
It should be noted that Klopp’s plan to assess his situation “at the end of the season” is likely a general statement, and rather than meaning in 2020, it is likely a pledge that he wouldn’t leave the club mid-campaign.
But it is clear that the German is not willing to commit his long-term future to any role, and it could be that Liverpool are forced to plan for his successor within the next three seasons.
Steven Gerrard has been backed by many supporters to take the job in the future, but perhaps the more sensible candidate would be current assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders.