Does this count as a “done deal”?
The Echo have indicated that former first team assistant coach Željko Buvač and Liverpool have reached a contractual resolution and that the man once referred to as “The Brain” in Jürgen Klopp’s operation has now officially terminated his relationship with the club.
The only thing surprising about the development, perhaps, is the timing of it all. Buvač has not been around the first team setup since April of last year, when Liverpool were making their push towards the Champions League final. At the time, there was some concern that Klopp would be losing a critical member of his staff, and perhaps a person with whom he had developed a long personal relationship (going back to their days at Mainz).
Much has happened since then, and as the league table would suggest, Liverpool and Klopp have managed to roll along rather efficiently in Buvač’s absence. What the latest news does not clear up is the reason for Buvač’s departure in the first place. Klopp has resolutely refused to discuss details, though the Echo and other observers have noted that the former assistant coach had grown distant from others on the staff.
As a practical matter, this may now open the door for Pepijn Lijnders, who had already been integrated as a de facto assistant coach for the first team, to perhaps formally assume a more prominent role in Klopp’s setup. Peter Krawietz, who like Buvač had spent time with Klopp at Mainz and at Borussia Dortmund, remains alongside Klopp on the bench these days and still appears to be a vital member of the team.