Klopp signs new Liverpool contract until 2026

German manager says he’s ‘delighted, humbled, blessed’ to be staying at Anfield for extra two years


AFP April 29, 2022

LIVERPOOL:

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has signed a new contract that will keep him at Anfield until 2026, the Premier League club announced on Thursday.

The German, whose previous deal was due to expire in 2024, said he was "delighted, humbled, blessed" to be staying for an extra two years.

"There is just so much to love about this place," he said. "I knew that before I came here. I got to know it even better after I arrived and now I know it more than ever before.

"Like any healthy relationship, it always has to be a two-way street; you have to be right for each other. The feeling we were absolutely right for each other is what brought me here in the first place and it's why I've extended previously."

He added: "When the owners brought the possibility to renew to me, I asked myself the question I've mused over publicly – 'Do I have the energy and vibe to give of myself again what this amazing place requires from the person in the manager's office?'

"I didn't need too long to answer in truth. The answer was very simple...I'm in love with here and I feel fine!"

Klopp's quote echoes the new chant to the tune of The Beatles song "I Feel Fine" – dedicated to the Reds boss.

Quadruple chase

Liverpool are chasing an unprecedented quadruple of trophies this season. They have already won the League Cup and face Chelsea in next month's FA Cup final.

The Reds are just one point behind Premier League leaders Manchester City with five games to go and are 2-0 up after the first leg of their Champions League semi-final against Villarreal.

The German has rebuilt the Reds into a superpower of European football since taking charge in 2015.

Liverpool lifted the Champions League in 2019 before ending a 30-year wait to win the English top flight the following year.

If they pip Manchester City to the title this year they would equal Manchester United's record of 20 English league crowns.

The 54-year-old has previously said he would take a sabbatical from the game when his time at Anfield comes to an end.

However, he has put his planned break back at least two years as he builds a legacy to rival that of Alex Ferguson's 26-year reign at Manchester United and Arsene Wenger's 22-year stay at Arsenal.

Klopp is already the longest-serving manager in the Premier League and should he see out his new deal it would mean an 11-year stay – a rarity at one of the world's biggest clubs in the modern game.

The former Mainz and Borussia Dortmund boss been re-energised this season after appearing jaded during a difficult 2020/21 campaign dogged by injury problems and played in the soulless atmosphere of empty stadiums.

Fenway Sports Group president Mike Gordon, speaking on behalf of the club's owners, said: "It's always hard to find the right words to adequately reflect Jurgen's importance and contribution to our club, but today's announcement really does speak for itself."

But challenges lie ahead for Liverpool if they are to maintain the stellar standards they have set in recent years alongside Pep Guardiola's Manchester City.

Mohamed Salah – the Premier League's top-scorer this season – has still not put pen to paper on a new deal. His contract expires next year, at the same time as those for fellow forwards Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino run out.

And sporting director Michael Edwards, who has been credited with much of the club's savvy transfer business, has already announced he is leaving the club at the end of the season.

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