Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists nothing has changed in his plans for the future and his goal remains for the club to progress even after his departure.
When the German signed his current deal – which expires in two years – in 2019 he said he wanted to “leave the club in a better place” but when asked in midweek about his chances of staying on he said he did not know.
Klopp said on Friday, despite having won the club’s first league title in 30 years and last weekend added the Carabao Cup to Champions League, Club World Cup and European Super Cup triumphs, managing Liverpool’s best squad for a generation would have no undue influence on his decision to stay or go.
“The plan is still the same, nothing really changed. When I decide, or if I decide to leave, maybe I get the sack in ’23, who knows?” he said.
“If I decide to leave in 2024 it is nothing to do with the quality of the squad: ‘My God, I have to manage them’ or ‘Oh my God, I’d better stop managing them’ (as they are not as good).
“It’s nothing to do with that. All we do is for the long term. This club must be even better especially when I am not here any more and that’s the plan, that’s what we are working on.
“It’s not so important how long I will stay, it is much more important what we do until then.”
Klopp and a number of his players have spoken about the desire not to ‘waste’ the potential of this squad – generally accepted to be the best at Anfield since the mid-1980s – to win a greater number of trophies.
But he accepts even the quest to bring more silverware to the club may not be enough for him to extend his stay.
“It’s a long time (to 2024), there are a lot of trophies out there so we will give it a try,” he added.
“The only problem we have is there are many other teams who want to do it as well, in Europe.
“Imagine it if we were not for City how many trophies we would have won already? It’s no problem, we really push each other on high levels.
“We don’t set ourselves a limit – why should we – but we know it’s really difficult.
“It’s always a question of perspective. I heard, and I don’t think it’s right, that we didn’t win enough but you can always think we could have won more here or there and we were unlucky in moments.
“Now we have won the Carabao Cup and all of a sudden we are missing one, the FA Cup, and then we have the whole collection.
“But I couldn’t be bothered about it. We try to win it and if not we try to be the best version of ourselves.
“You can be a spectacular second, which we were unfortunately (when they finished a point behind Manchester City in the 2018-19 title race) after a really good season and it helped us a lot for our future.
“So just learn to play as often as somehow possible your absolutely best football and that gives you a proper chance to win something. Unfortunately no guarantees.”
Klopp’s immediate priority, however, is closing the gap to City back to three points with Saturday’s visit of West Ham, against whom he will be without ill centre-back Joel Matip with fitness doubts over midfielders Curtis Jones and Naby Keita.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.