Premier League

Pep Lijnders wanted to manage Erling Haaland and Sadio Mane’s former club

Jurgen Klopp

Red Bull Salzburg are considering appointing departing Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders as their new head coach, a new report has revealed.

41-year-old Lijnders is leaving Liverpool at the end of the season alongside Jurgen Klopp, bringing the curtain down on two hugely successful stints as the German’s number two.

Lijnders has already dipped his toes into first team management, spending five months with Dutch side NEC Nijmegen in 2018 before being sacked, and said in February that he was ready to step up to being a number one again.

“I really believe that it’s a natural progression,” he remarked. “I always said I will finish with Jurgen, I will not assist anyone else, that’s the moment I will go and manage. We end this project together that we started.”

Salzburg, who competed in this season’s Champions League and finished bottom of a group containing Real Sociedad, Inter and Benfica, parted ways with former boss Gerhard Struber in April, and The Athletic report that Lijnders is viewed as the ‘perfect candidate’ to take over.

Were Lijnders to take over at Salzburg, he’d be tasked with reasserting the club as the dominant force of Austrian football – barring a surprise slip-up from Sturm Graz at the weekend, they will lose their decade-long grip on the domestic league title.

Jurgen Klopp

Lijnders will leave with Klopp / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

Backed by Red Bull since 2006, Salzburg have helped nurture some of world football’s best players in their formative years, most noticeably progressing the careers of Erling Haaland and Sadio Mane.

Karim Adeyemi, Benjamin Sesko, Dominik Szoboszlai and Naby Keita are four other high-profile players to have honed their craft in Austria, with Bundesliga high-flyers RB Leipzig often the beneficiaries when the time has come to move those players on.

Lijnders first worked as a youth coach at Liverpool, joining at a time when Brendan Rodgers was manager, before operating as Klopp’s number two for the club’s Champions League, Premier League and domestic cup successes.


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