Jurgen Klopp just hinted who he’d be happy to see as next Liverpool manager in 2024

Jurgen Klopp will leave Liverpool at the end of his contract in 2024 and he is a huge admirer of Brighton and Hove Albion boss Graham Potter.

It was an admission that Liverpool fans did not want to hear Jurgen Klopp doubling down on.

Knowing that the gregarious German will be leaving at the end of his contract in the summer of 2024 is bad enough.

Klopp’s planned exit

But to be issued a stark reminder - just days after the Carabao Cup final triumph and bang in the middle of a push for an unprecedented quadruple - felt like a hammer blow.

Indeed, Klopp still plans on bringing the curtain down on his Anfield tenure in little more than two years' time.

Even despite assembling his strongest-ever squad at Liverpool, he's preparing to exit the club.

"The plan is, in the moment, 2024, thank you very much," Klopp said before last week’s defeat of West Ham.

“I love what I do, but – I’ve said it a couple of times – there must be something else out there in the world, to be honest, apart from always thinking about probably skilled, good-looking, fantastically nice football players.

“But I really don’t think about it, honestly. At the moment, I’m full of energy but we have to make sure that that’s the case.

“I don’t want to sit around and be more often tired than not and think: ‘Why is everybody bothered about the things out there? I couldn’t care less’. So that’s it.”

Jurgen Klopp with the Champions League trophy in 2019. Photo: Michael Regan/Getty Images
Jurgen Klopp with the Champions League trophy in 2019. Photo: Michael Regan/Getty Images
Jurgen Klopp with the Champions League trophy in 2019. Photo: Michael Regan/Getty Images

The obvious candidate

When the day Klopp drives out of Liverpool's Kirkby-based training ground for the final time - with his car boot awash of boxes, gifts and, hopefully, a few more winners' medals - it'll be celebrated and mourned simultaneously.

Since his arrival in October 2015, the former Borussia Dortmund supremo has re-established the Reds among the European elite.

He's lived up to his promise of transforming Liverpool from doubters to believers - and the rest.

Yet the Reds will have to be braced for when his exit comes. They can’t afford to get it wrong. A seamless transition is imperative.

Already, potential candidates will be earmarked. Klopp may well even have a say on his successor.

Steven Gerrard, of course, is the obvious heir-apparent.

The Liverpool legend has insisted he's not using Aston Villa as a stepping stone towards the Anfield driving seat, after leaving Rangers in November.

However, we all know if his boyhood club came knocking, it'd be too difficult for Gerrard to rebuff.

Yet there are still two seasons to go until Klopp departs. Plenty can happen.

If Gerrard fails at Villa Park, he is still in the early stages of his incumbency after all, then the Reds may have to look elsewhere.

Jurgen Klopp and Steven Gerrard. Picture: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Jurgen Klopp and Steven Gerrard. Picture: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Jurgen Klopp and Steven Gerrard. Picture: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Potter’s magic

Certainly, judging by Klopp's comments before and after Liverpool’s 2-0 win at Brighton and Hove Albion, he'd give his seal approval if Graham Potter was proposed.

The Seagulls boss is regarded as one of the most exciting coaches in the Premier League.

Granted, the south-coast outfit have faltered in recent weeks - but that doesn't concern Klopp heading into the Amex Stadium fixture.

He heaped praise on the job that Potter is carrying out.

"They’re a really good team,” said the Liverpool manager before the fixture.

“Graham has the time to set his team up for each opponent and is really smart

“Graham Potter is an outstanding coach. I really like what he’s doing.

“Brighton have a problem, from time to time, they don’t finish their chances off.

“I don't know how many games I've watched them, 80 minutes and how good they are but are only 1-0 up then the other team has one chance and it's 1-1. That's really hard

“If you look at the players they bring in and the way they play, it’s exciting to watch and it's really good to watch.”

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Brighton boss Graham Potter. Picture: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Brighton boss Graham Potter. Picture: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Brighton boss Graham Potter. Picture: Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

After the game, Klopp was just as complimentary.

He said: “He is definitely [one of the best coaches]. I respect a lot what Graham is doing. I really hope that people here know what they have.

"I think we were better, more decisive in the right moments, and there are a few issues that Brighton have, definitely, but the way he [Potter] sets the team up and the way they play I could not respect more.

"Between football people, Graham is really highly regarded. I like watching his team a lot, I don't like playing them too much. He's a really good one."

Similarities

Indeed, Potter's thriving at Brighton. Recruitment has been sage with the likes of Leandro Trossard, Tariq Lamptey, Jakub Moder and Marc Cucurella among those he's unearth.

The fact Adam Lallana opted for the Seagulls after winning the Premier League with Liverpool speaks volumes about Potter’s reputation, too.

Klopp's had significant funds on Merseyside - but getting bang for the Reds’ buck remains a vital mantra of owners FSG.

In addition, Potter is currently at a club that's extremely well run.

He has fine relationship with technical director Dan Ashworth and isn’t afraid to give academy prospect opportunities.

That’s similar to the rapport Klopp and sporting director Michael Edwards share, while Trent Alexander-Arnold, Curtis Jones, Harvey Elliott and Caoimhin Kelleher are all trusted members of the quadruple-chasing squad.

Potter might not have the most glamorous of profiles.

His playing days were mainly spent in the lower leagues and he was forced to head to Sweden for his maiden managerial opportunity with fourth-tier Ostersund.

Klopp couldn't care less about, though. In truth, it’s probably something he admirers.

After all, Klopp once admitted he had “fourth-division feet and a first-division head” as a player for Mainz.

Meanwhile, his two Anfield assistants, Pep Lijnders and Peter Krawietz, never played professionally in their lives.

Liverpool's current chief knows just because you performed at the top level, it doesn't mean you can coach there. And vice versa.

If Potter continues on his steep, upward trajectory, it won’t be long until he’s poached from Brighton.

Should the timing align itself with Klopp’s exit, Potter could prove an alternative option to Gerrard.