LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 2, 2022: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp (L) and Roberto Firmino during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Watford FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp wanted new contracts for key trio – but Liverpool said no

Joel Matip is confirmed to be departing Liverpool on the expiry of his contract this summer, which came after club officials overruled Jurgen Klopp‘s vote.

Klopp and Matip will both leave Anfield at the end of the season, with the centre-back sadly ruled out of the final game against Wolves due to a long-term ACL injury.

As he underwent surgery to correct the issue, Klopp insisted that Matip should be given a new contract, saying “I’m pretty sure the club will show their class.”

But with the No. 32 preparing to move on, the Times‘ Paul Joyce has reported that while Klopp pushed for a new deal, those within Liverpool’s hierarchy decided against it.

That was the same for both Roberto Firmino and James Milner, who left to join Al-Ahli and Brighton on free transfers last summer respectively.

SINGAPORE - Saturday, July 29, 2023: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp (R) speaks with Joël Matip during a training session ahead of the pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Leicester City FC at the Singapore National Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp has been described as loyal to a fault in the past, with it also explained that, ahead of their own moves to Saudi Arabia, “[Jordan] Henderson and Fabinho were not pushed out; they forced their way out.”

Matip will leave at 32. Firmino was 31 when he exited, Milner was 37, Henderson was 33 and Fabinho was 29.

Dominik Szoboszlai, 23, Alexis Mac Allister, 25, and Ryan Gravenberch, 22, were all brought in last year, with Wataru Endo, 31, the outlier after moves for Moises Caicedo, 22, and Romeo Lavia, 20, fell through.

Liverpool will almost certainly take a similar approach to the summer transfer window, with plans to be led by new sporting director Richard Hughes in tandem with assistant David Woodfine and CEO of football Michael Edwards.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Monday, May 13, 2024: Liverpool's Jarell Quansah celebrates after scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Aston Villa FC and Liverpool FC at Villa Park. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Willian Pacho, 22, and Ousmane Diomande, 20, are two of the centre-backs tipped to replace Matip, while Jarell Quansah, 21, has already been promoted from the academy.

Quansah’s rise does, however, show one of the main positives of Klopp’s faith in the squad already at his disposal, with the departing manager willing to rely on youth.

That will be emphasised to his successor, Arne Slot, but now the decisions over contracts will be taken out of the new head coach’s hands.

It is certainly an interesting report given Liverpool have both Virgil van Dijk, 32, and Mohamed Salah, 31, entering the final year of their contracts this summer.

But it could be argued that, unlike Matip, Firmino, Milner, Henderson and Fabinho, there is no evidence of a fading role in the starting lineup for either player yet.

Put simply, though, while Klopp could be seen as loyal to a fault, it is also this ability to connect to players that made Liverpool the band of brothers they are.