Jürgen Klopp has signed an extension to keep him at Liverpool through to the summer of 2026, giving fans four more years with the most important and successful manager the club have had since the days of Shankly and Paisley.
Some of his reasons for staying are the squad, the players, his fellow coaches and the project. But a big part of the reason he’s staying is because his wife, Ulla, told him she couldn’t see them leaving the club and city in two summers.
“When I said around the last contract extension that in 2024 that’s it, then it was actually a private agreement,” Klopp explained. “The most important contract in my life I signed is the one with Ulla. That’s where it started again.
“We sat in the kitchen at the table and Ulla said, ‘I can’t see us leaving in 2024.’ It’s about so many people. That’s the first moment and then, of course, it’s about the club and all the people I don’t know personally but I know as well, so that’s how it all started.”
It’s not where it ended, though, with key assistant Pepijn Lijnders the next person he talked to about it. Many have seen Lijnders as Klopp’s natural successor, the manager-in-training, but his number two was just as eager to keep the status quo going.
“When I thought about it then it was clear I need to have one more really important conversation and that was the one to Pep Lijnders,” Klopp said. “He is probably the main reason for it because he is a real energiser.
“You know him, this man is on fire and our connection is beyond football things. When he said, ‘Oh, yes, I am in!’ then it was clear that we are open for talks. That’s why we sit here now. [And] Pete and I are like an old couple, but with him it is the same.”
It’s important it’s not just Klopp extending for two more years beyond 2024, it’s also Lijnders and Peter Krawietz and the key coaching and support staff beyond them. All have had a role in building a historically good Liverpool side. All are staying.