Jurgen Klopp has confirmed he will “definitely” take a year’s sabbatical following the end of his time with Liverpool, even in the unlikely scenario of him being sacked.
Speculation on Klopp’s future at Anfield has died down following a pair of back-to-back victories for the Reds, but prior to wins over RB Leipzig and Wolves, the prospect of sacking was even raised.
There was no chance of that occurring, of course, with Fenway Sports Group steadfastly behind the manager in a uniquely difficult season, and now the tide appears to be beginning to turn.
If all goes well, Klopp will remain at Liverpool until 2024, when his contract expires, or perhaps even longer if the club’s owners are able to convince the German to extend his stay.
But one thing is certain in that, when his time on Merseyside draws to a close, he will be taking a year off regardless of the opportunities presented to him.
“The sabbatical will definitely happen, definitely,” he told SportBild.
“If we don’t win a Premier League game and the thinking of the owners changes [to my sacking], I’ll take a year off.
“No ifs and buts. This is clearly an agreement with my family – and probably with my family doctor as well.
“One thing is clear: when Liverpool ends, there will definitely be a year off.
“Nobody needs to call, not after four months and not after six either. No matter who tries it, it’s a year shift!”
Klopp did, of course, take a break following the end of his spell in charge of Borussia Dortmund in 2015, but the chance to take over Liverpool saw him swiftly return to work.
However, at the time he was at pains to stress that he was not taking a sabbatical, instead simply insisting that he felt he was “no longer the perfect coach for this extraordinary club.”
“I am not tired. I may look tired but I am not. I am 0.0 percent tired,” he told reporters in April 2015.
“I haven’t had any contact with any other clubs but am not planning a sabbatical, though it could of course be that I have to take one, or whatever a free half-year is called.”
His comments back then and more recently in his interview with SportBild are remarkably similar, and his honesty suggests that not only will he stay with the Reds until 2024, but also that that may be it.
Given the mental, physical and emotional toll of managing a club like Liverpool, it should come as little surprise, but at least there is no danger of Klopp leaving to take another job.