With Liverpool “set to appoint” Jorg Schmadtke as their new sporting director, we looked back at what Jurgen Klopp has previously said about his German compatriot.
Julian Ward’s imminent departure in the summer, just one year after taking on the role of sporting director, leaves a gap for Liverpool to fill.
The most likely candidate to become the Reds’ new sporting director has emerged as Schmadtke, who the Telegraph reported is “the frontrunner for the role after talks between the 59-year-old and Liverpool accelerated.”
The report refers to Klopp as an “ally” of the former goalkeeper and manager, despite the pair’s dealings appearing to have been very limited over the years.
However, when speaking to German newspaper Wolfsburger Allgemeine in January, Klopp did say he “would have liked to have worked with him sometime” and he is “sure that would have been a good fit.”
After Schmadtke left his position as Wolfsburg’s sporting director at the start of 2023, following four-and-a-half years in the job, Klopp recalled an early meeting with him at a trial.
“I was just 19 years old, a young lad. Thin bones, long hair,” the Liverpool manager remembered.
“I wanted to fulfil my dream of becoming a professional football player. I wanted to introduce myself to Fortuna [Dusseldorf].
“I came into the dressing room highly motivated during the trial session, then it was off to the pitch in the shadow of the Rheinstadion [Fortuna’s stadium].
“I worked really hard, gave everything. I ran like a devil, Jorg was in the box. He was a really big name at Fortuna at the time.”
Klopp continued: “What can I say? I was a total flop.
“Jorg has probably noticed that to this day. In all his jobs he never made me an offer to become a coach. He probably thought ‘if Klopp can’t play football, he can’t be a good coach either!'”
On Schmadtke’s character, Klopp added: “For me, he is a great personality. Has never been bent over the 38 years, has always remained true to himself.”
At the end of April, the Liverpool boss emphasised the importance of recruiting a new sporting director.
He said: “Pretty much everybody has a sporting director and that’s because it makes sense.
“I don’t know how the guys did that in the past [on managers working without sporting directors] I have no clue around that, talking to all the agents and these kinds of things.
“You need people for that, there’s no chance, and that’s why I am happy with the structure and the guy we get or the lady we get will be absolutely right.”
The next person to come in will be Liverpool’s third occupant of the role in three years, with long-term fixture Michael Edwards only having departed last summer.