When Jürgen Klopp sat at the kitchen table with his wife Ulla, the future of MO SALAH was hardly bright.
Although it was a chat over coffee that led to the German boss signing a new contract for the next four years.
She simply said to him, “I can’t see us going in 2024.”
From that point Klopp was clear on staying and by the end of April the deal was in place, despite reaffirming his plan to leave just a month earlier.
After writing his new contract until 2026, Klopp said: “What do you do as a good husband when your wife wants to stay?
“They stay. That’s not the only reason – but it’s one of the reasons.”
One of those reasons, it now turns out, is how he will approach the next phase of his reign, which began nearly seven years ago.
It’s about life without Sadio Mane and, as is becoming more and more likely, also without Salah.
Mane is now, of course, a Bayern Munich player who was sold for £35million this week.
The Senegalese star had just one year left on his contract.
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Salah, who also has 12 months left and refuses to back down on his £400,000-a-week demands to re-sign, could well be next.
One of the reasons Klopp re-signed was because he saw the scenario coming.
For months, striker Mane, 30, had hinted that he wanted to leave Anfield.
Salah, meanwhile, says he’s not asking for “crazy” money, but the owners of Fenway Sports Group know they need to destroy their wage structure in one fell swoop.
After Klopp had the most exciting forward line in club football as they tried and failed to deliver last season’s quadruple, Klopp faces the prospect of leading a whole new one into the season ahead.
As SunSport revealed today, there are increasing signs that while the Anfield hierarchy would hate to see Salah leave, as was the case with Mane, the Anfield hierarchy are nonetheless preparing for his exit.
And possibly sooner rather than later.
Darwin Nunez, who signed an initial £64m deal that could rise to a club record £85.3m with add-ons, is now in the building, as is Luis Diaz – who signed a £49m transfer in January million pounds was bought. Diogo Jota was already there.
However, the most important signing of the lot is certainly Klopp himself.
After building a team and, most importantly, collecting the strikers who ended the title injured for 30 years and won the 2019 Champions League and two other finals, he needs to do it again.
This time, too, it should be easier because the manpower is already there.
It took vision, foresight and a brilliant recruiting strategy to land Salah and Mane to play alongside Roberto Firmino.
But for the plan to work out as spectacularly as the three from Kop scored a total of 338 goals in five years, great coaching was also needed.
Klopp, alongside his No.2 Pep Lijnders, provided the trio have played together over the five years.
It started with the Germans’ heavy metal counter-pressing tactics, but the plan was adjusted as Mane and Salah in particular rose in status.
Then things got more subtle as full-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson were allowed to add their attacking prowess.
Klopp orchestrated more flowing rhythms and an understanding that his initial tactical ethos would dump his frontmen into the ground.
Salah and Mane each made no fewer than 60 appearances last season, including their duties at the Africa Cup of Nations, which culminated in the final against Egypt.
By next summer, if not the end of this summer, Klopp will be stringing together a whole new management line.
Jota, two years after his £45m arrival from Wolves, has settled in well.
Diaz looked like he found his true home from the start.
Nunez, who celebrated his 23rd birthday yesterday, is two years younger than the other two.
He could take longer to go to bed as he is still relatively inexperienced having only played at a high level at Benfica for two years.
But the Uruguayan offers Klopp a new option due to his prowess in the air.
The change in the way Liverpool score goals will be fascinating to see when Klopp builds again.
And he proved that there is no better man to take on this challenge.
Ulla Klopp will have been part of what her husband knew in their quiet conversations.
And over a big breakfast, she nurtured him with the thought that led to a longer stay on Merseyside than the couple originally anticipated.
Liverpool could not have looked at just the departures of Mane, Salah and Firmino so easily, even with a year left on his contract.
Klopp’s departure would have been next on the agenda – and there would have been fears everything could fall apart at Anfield.
Instead, there will be a sense of a whole new beginning once Klopp begins assembling his squad next Monday and the start of pre-season training.
The FSG owes that to Ms. Klopp.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/football/premier-league/5636533/jurgen-klopp-liverpool-rebuild-mane-salah-exit/ Jurgen Klopp is the right man to help rebuild Liverpool after Mane is gone and Salah goes to the exit door