Brendan Rodgers has shrugged off speculation suggesting Liverpool could be about to replace him with Jurgen Klopp.
Optimism was high at Anfield that the Reds long wait for a first league title since 1990 could soon be over, having finished within two points of champions Manchester City at the end of the 2013/14 season. But the departure of Luis Suarez was a bitter blow to swallow, and last season they didn’t even look remotely close to challenging, and ended the campaign in sixth place.
Rodgers has spent heavily during the last two summer’s but the majority of his signings are yet to find their feet, and this has raised question marks over his ability to succeed and his long-term future at the club. And the Merseyside outfit have now gone four Premier League matches without a win, and needed penalties to get past League Two side Carlisle United in the League Cup.
Klopp, meanwhile, remains one of the most respected coaches in Europe following his feats with Borussia Dortmund during a seven-year stint. The German is currently available having left the Bundesliga side at the end of last season, and earlier this week it was claimed that Liverpool have made tentative enquiry as to his potential interest in replacing Rodgers.
“In terms of names linked, when manager of a club this size there is always going to be speculation,” said the current Reds manager when asked of the speculation. “When you’re not winning games that will only intensify. I think there have been over 10 managers linked with my job in the three years that I have been here but you take that as part and parcel of the game.
“I have regular contact with the owners and the relationship has always been strong. In all fairness, whatever happens here, whether I’m here for one day more, one month, one year whatever – I will always have a huge respect for the owners and the people that I work with here at the club. All I will do is my very best with the players that we already have here.”
Liverpool are widely reported to have denied making an approach for Klopp, who has in the past indicated an interest in managing in the Premier League. He was linked with the Manchester City job during the summer before Manuel Pellegrini was handed a new contract, and he has also been mentioned as a potential successor to Arsene Wenger at Arsenal.
Rodgers, meanwhile, will look to get back to winning ways this weekend when he welcomes Aston Villa to Anfield on Saturday afternoon. The season is still at its early stages, of course, and such is the way the results have panned out so far, a win over Tim Sherwood’s men could even lift the Reds to within touching distance of the top-four which is their aim for the campaign.
“At a club of this stature, you always need to be at your best,” added Rodgers. “I’m a much better manager than the one that arrived here three years ago but I know I need to get results. The pressure is huge but I embrace that challenge. I respect that we need to get results. It only takes one win and we’re back around top four. Once we get a sequence of results we will get confidence.”