‘He’s not dumb’: Klopp insists Edwards did not try to make him stay at Liverpool

New chief executive of football hailed by Klopp as ‘top news’; Mo Salah could start for Liverpool in FA Cup tie at Manchester United

Jürgen Klopp has described Michael Edwards as the “top solution” for Liverpool’s next chapter but insisted the new chief executive of football made no attempt to convince him to stay as manager.

Klopp and Edwards have spoken since the latter’s return in a more prominent role under Fenway Sports Group, which has tasked the 44-year-old with shaping Liverpool’s future and leading its acquisition of a second club. The pair’s close relationship cooled towards the end of Edwards’s time as Liverpool sporting director in 2022 but Klopp believes the appointment is perfect for the club he is leaving behind.

“I’ve said a few times that I want to see the club in the best possible place after I’ve left,” Klopp said. “I think it is a top solution, honestly, and our conversation was great. We spoke about a lot of things, about what I think about different things, players, situations in the club because I was here all the time when he was not, what did change and what might have to change. It was a really good talk, and it’s top news for the club.”

Edwards is expected to install Richard Hughes as Liverpool’s sporting director and, along with Bournemouth’s outgoing technical director, hire Klopp’s replacement. He did not, according to Klopp, broach the subject of a possible U-turn by the manager over his future.


“No, because, and it’s very important in his job, he’s not dumb,” Klopp said. “That was not a subject to talk about. Can you imagine if I changed my mind now? Of course not. It would be like when I said I’d never move to another club in England and next year I signed for our neighbours or a club who needs a coach. I don’t say these things without thinking about them before.

“It would mean I realise only now how great this club is – I have known about it all the time. For me it is the best club in the world and I am still leaving anyway. I just want this club to do as well as somehow possible, and I’m really sure [that can happen] if we create a good basis with the right people in charge and Michael is a top choice.”

Liverpool will confirm their place in the Europa League quarter-finals at Anfield on Thursday barring a miraculous comeback by Sparta Prague, who trail 5-1 from the first leg. Mohamed Salah needs one goal to become the first Liverpool player to score 20 in all competitions for seven successive seasons. He could make his first club start since New Year’s Day as Klopp builds the striker’s fitness before Sunday’s FA Cup date with Manchester United.

“I am not sure he is ready for 90 minutes or that we should do 90 minutes but he is ready to start,” Klopp said. “We all know Mo usually can play game after game after game. He was out for a surprisingly long time but now he is back and we have to make sure we can count on him consistently again. There are 10 more Premier League games and hopefully a lot more cup and European games and they are all as important.” — Guardian