'For me it was clear': 41-year-old has ruled himself out of being Liverpool's next manager
Source: Rousingthekop

Liverpool head into this weekend's Carabao Cup final knowing that it could be their last chance to win a trophy under Jurgen Klopp.

Hopefully that isn't the case, the Reds still have three more to play for besides. But against Chelsea at Wembley on Sunday, Liverpool have the first direct chance to add another one to the cabinet.

Beyond that, we don't yet know who will be leading the Reds into next season. However, we certainly know who it won't be. It won't be Klopp, of course, and neither will it be his assistant, Pep Lijnders. Lijnders was asked during the pre-final press conference today whether he had thought about 'throwing his hat into the ring' for the top job. From his answer, that won't be happening.

"I was really clear to be honest," answered the 41-year-old. "When we had the talk a long time ago, for me it was clear. It made it easier for me when he [Klopp] said this will be it. We knew in the summer already we are going towards the end of this project.

"We spoke, I got offers last year. My heart always said yes, my loyalty and my friendship and respect for Mike and Jurgen said no. But it's clear that I will go and manage and we will end the project together. I feel that it's a project of a lot of people and it's the right way to do it like this.

"But I'm excited to manage, I'm excited to go and find the right club, a club who really wants me. But until the last final of the season I'm focused on Liverpool. I don't even know what's happening, that's why we have agents."

Lijnders rules himself out In fairness to Lijnders, he had already made it pretty clear that he wouldn't be in the running to succeed Klopp at Liverpool.

It had been announced on the same day as the manager last month that the assistant would be leaving, too. Still, it's interesting to dig into his quotes here, as they do add a little bit more colour.


From what Pep says, it sounds as though he was in fact planning to leave the club regardless of Klopp's decision.

Having received and turned down offers already , it seems that Lijnders was finally ready to go and make his own way in management. Jurgen's surprise departure only reaffirmed that it was the right time for the Dutchman to exit, too.

Of course, Lijnders has tried his hand at the top job already. However, that brief stint at NEC Nijmegen six years ago was probably not a true reflection of his capability.

Nevertheless, the difficulty he had at Nijmegen perhaps played a part in stopping Liverpool from offering him Klopp's job. Had it been on the table, Lijnders would surely have taken it.

As it is, he'll have to go off and earn his corn elsewhere. Not that he'll mind, Pep seems utterly up for whatever challenge comes his way. And who knows, do well, and maybe our paths will cross again in the future.