Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has snapped back at a “cheeky” reporter for quizzing him on comments from Pep Guardiola in which the Catalan coach suggested that he could stick around at Manchester City “forever”.
The German tactician is currently locked in another epic battle with a direct rival for Premier League and FA Cup glory, with Reds and Blues looking to get their hands on more domestic silverware in 2022.
Guardiola only has a little over 12 months left to run on his contract at City, while Klopp is tied down at Anfield until 2024, and debate regarding how long both will remain in their current roles appears set to rumble on for some time yet.
What has been said?
After being quizzed on Guardiola’s “forever” quip and whether it could influence his own plans, Klopp said at a press conference looking ahead to the second leg of Liverpool’s Champions League quarter-final clash with Benfica: “What does my future have to do with Pep’s? I saw his press conference, and I thought he said ‘I could stay here forever, but I won’t’? But you are cheeky enough to pick out this one phrase? That’s not too cool.
“If Pep wants to stay forever, please do that. It’s nothing to do with me.”
No manager has beaten Pep Guardiola more times than Jurgen Klopp.
No manager has beaten Jurgen Klopp more times than Pep Guardiola.
Rent free 🧠 pic.twitter.com/7iyQcQ6BYN
— GOAL (@goal) April 9, 2022
The bigger picture
With Klopp reluctant to be drawn into a debate regarding the future intentions of a fellow coach, his full focus remains locked on events on Merseyside.
He has already delivered Champions League, Premier League and Carabao Cup honours during his tenure, with the potential there for more silverware to come.
A star-studded cast of world-class performers has been assembled at Anfield, with Colombian winger Luis Diaz the latest to slot seamlessly into the fold, and Klopp admits that he is now working with the finest group of talent he’s had during his entire six-and-a-half-year stint in England.
When that question was put to him, with the Reds holding a 3-1 aggregate lead in their latest European encounter, Klopp said: “Yes. Since I’m here we’ve always had great teams. I love them all. But now we have a bigger squad, high quality, all fit for the first time, more experienced. We know more about each other.
“It’s the strongest.”
After playing host to Benfica on Wednesday, Liverpool’s attention will turn to another date with City in the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley on Saturday.