Liverpool owners have ‘respect’ for potential Jurgen Klopp successor – not Steven Gerrard

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Liverpool assistant boss Pep Lijnders has been tipped as a potential successor to current Reds chief Jurgen Klopp – despite the clamour for Steven Gerrard to take the reins when Klopp is expected to depart in 2024.

Klopp has made it clear that he wants to take a break from football when his deal at Anfield expires in two-and-a-half years’ time.

After successfully transitioning into management, Reds legend Gerrard was often mooted as Klopp’s most likely successor during his time at Rangers.

And that talk has only intensified after Gerrard returned to the Premier League last week as the new boss of Aston Villa.

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But the high-esteem that Lijnders is held in by the Liverpool hierarchy could be set to block Gerrard’s route to the top job on Merseyside.

According to The Athletic, the esteem that Lijnders is held in could make him a viable option to replace Klopp when the German departs.

Lijnders is solely responsible for the Reds coaching programme and is trusted implicitly by Klopp – something that is reciprocated by the Anfield hierarchy.

Although he’s worked closely with Klopp over the past few years, the Dutch coach has dabbled in management before.

Lijnders had a brief spell in charge at NEC Nijmegen, but he lasted just five months in the Netherlands before returning to Anfield shortly afterward.

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He’s been Klopp’s right-hand man ever since – and could now be a shock left-field appointment when the current Reds boss calls it a day.

Gerrard was lured back to the Premier League by Villa last week to succeed Dean Smith, who was sacked at the start of the month.

That has naturally led to fresh speculation regarding his future prospects; something that Gerrard admits he can’t control.

“I don’t think me or anyone else will be able to control the noise, but for me that’s not important,” Gerrard told Villa TV when discussing a return to Anfield next month.

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“What’s important is the chance to go to Anfield and win and try and take maximum points, which is the attitude and mentality that we’ll have going into every game.

“It is what it is, I want to win every game that I play in. Now my priority, my focus and everything that I will give on a daily basis will be for Aston Villa.

“One thing I can guarantee for all the supporters, the players and all the staff here is that when I commit to something, I’m all in.”

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