Felix Magath may have described Jürgen Klopp as a "great fit" for Bayern Munich should Pep Guardiola part ways with the German giants at the end of the season, but the former Borussia Dortmund manager would demand changes if he succeeded Brendan Rodgers at Anfield. According to the Daily Mail, the demands centre around the transfer committee in place at Liverpool, which Klopp would want that dissolved if he was appointed head coach.
It's interesting that the Daily Mail report cites the problems Rodgers had in picking the players he wanted. When one reads "strong negotiating position" and "his terms" in relation to Klopp's position, it appears that the 48-year-old desires similar powers enjoyed by the likes of current Premier League managers such as Arsène Wenger and José Mourinho. Even Mourinho, who had rare autonomy in the transfer market at Real Madrid, has to make some concessions at Chelsea in transfer matters with other powerful figures at the West London club.
In Germany, Klopp's lofty reputation was made at a club that followed the continental approach to separating powers in footballing matters. In June, Klopp's agent said expressly stated that his client was interested in working in England under a Director of Football. That's the most likely conclusion from this latest story, which actually changes nothing. Hans-Joachim Watzke as Chief Executive Officer, Michael Zorc as Director of Football, and Klopp as Head Coach worked excellently together. There's no reason why Liverpool couldn't benefit from Ian Ayre, Klopp, and a clever DOF over the coming years.
FSG originally wanted a DOF when looking for a successor to Kenny Dalglish, something that Brendan Rodgers was opposed to. With a drastic weakening of Rodgers' position in the summer, FSG backed the manager without appointing a DOF. Appointing Klopp or Carlo Ancelotti would offer Liverpool's hierarchy a chance to move forward with their original vision, and Klopp in particular, would fit the financially responsible but competitive approach favoured by Liverpool's American owners. Such a change would mean that Klopp would be Liverpool's head coach, albeit an influential and powerful one.
There's also the news that Klopp would only come to Liverpool if he was "the unanimous choice" by those appointing him. Again, which manager wants to receive a lukewarm welcome with partial support at a new club? This is hardly revelatory. Liverpool's current system for identifying and recruiting players has split opinion as well as muddied where blame should lie for transfer failures. Some signings have been verified by generally reliable sources as mainly being driven by Rodgers or pushed more by other members of the transfer committee.
It could be possible that FSG are committed to the existing structure at the club and would only seek a potential change in manager, and such an approach would make Klopp's preferences more of a problem. However, the wording of the piece written by Joe Bernstein indicates that Klopp wants power over transfers by referring to Rodgers' frustrations in failing to sign the players he wanted. Perhaps the thrust of the piece is more to do with Klopp's unshakeable commitment to a separation of powers, something that could be fruitful if the right pieces were appointed to handle the team and transfers respectively.
The existing transfer committee has always felt like the fruits of compromise, but the increasingly influential role played by Mike Gordon could very well be key to any possible alterations to how player recruitment is handled. Only John W Henry holds a larger stake in FSG than Gordon, a fact that should not be underestimated if the time comes to seek a new conductor of Liverpool's footballing orchestra. Results will always sing loudest, but there could be quite a few changes as well as improvements at Anfield if Brendan Rodgers eventually loses his job
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