Tactical Insights

Klopp, Barcelona secret ‘meetings’ emerge as ‘decisive ally’ may make him ‘forget sabbatical’

According to reports, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has already had ‘clandestine meetings’ with Barcelona over replacing Xavi in the summer.

Klopp announced towards the end of last month that he would be leaving the Premier League giants at the end of this season.

Upon making this announcement, the Liverpool head coach indicated that he “doesn’t know” whether he will ever manage again. Man City boss Pep Guardiola reckons his rival will eventually make a comeback, though.

“He will be back I’m pretty sure. Where I don’t know, only he knows it,” Guardiola said during an interview with TNT Sports.

“He will rest a little bit and relax and take the perspective because [when you are playing] every third day season after season, it’s difficult to take a perspective of what I’m doing, who we are, what I want in life. Sometimes to take a break is really good. He’s going to decide his best.”

At the very least, Klopp has insisted that he will take a sabbatical after this season but this has not stopped media outlets from linking the respected German coach with a move to FC Barcelona.

The La Liga giants will soon be without a manager themselves as Xavi has confirmed that this season will be his last as their manager.

Several outlets have suggested that Klopp is Barcelona president Joao Laporta’s ‘dream signing’ and he will do everything possible to secure his services.

READ MORE: What next for Jurgen Klopp? Barcelona among five possible paths after leaving Liverpool

A report from Spanish outlet Nacional claims Barcelona ‘like’ Hansi Flick, Michael Sanchez and Roberto De Zerbi but Klopp is their ‘favourite’.

It is also claimed that ‘there have already been clandestine meetings for Klopp to forget about his sabbatical idea and postpone it for a while’.

Laporta is said to have ‘spoken personally’ with Klopp to ‘seduce him’. To tempt him to take the job, it’s indicated that the Liverpool favourite would be given ‘complete freedom to plan’ for upcoming signings and departures.

Klopp’s wife has also emerged as an ‘ally for Barcelona’. The report adds.

‘His wife, Ulla Sandrock, may end up being decisive for him to land at Barcelona. Because she has a special predilection for the climate, landscapes and Spanish food, and she would be delighted to live in the county town.

‘In addition, they have a farm in Mallorca, less than an hour away by plane. This can be a big help for Laporta.’

READ MORE: Who will replace Jurgen Klopp as next Liverpool manager? Ange in the running

This report should *obviously* be taken with a pinch of salt because, well, it’s Nacional and they’re not exactly reliable.

German journalist Christian Falk is more trustworthy and he has confirmed that Flick is “learning Spanish” and is “keen on the job”.

“Hansi Flick is already learning Spanish, because he is keen on the Barca job,” Falk said via a report for Caught Offside.

“His chance: Brighton will demand a fee for Roberto de Zerbi, as they did with Graham Potter. Chelsea paid €17.4m.

“A lot of money for Barca, which they don‘t really have at the moment. Flick would be a free agent.”

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