The announcement that Jurgen Klopp will leave Liverpool at the end of the season has prompted a response from Pep Guardiola.
Pep claims he will sleep better next season as Jurgen Klopp’s time at Liverpool comes to an end, despite the fact that the Man City manager and Klopp have been fierce rivals in Germany and England. In all of this, Pep asserts that the Liverpool manager will soon return to the highest level.
On Friday, January 26, shocking news broke that Klopp would be leaving the Merseyside club at the end of the season. He had been in charge for eight and a half years and had won every top-level competition he could at Anfield.
Manchester City under Guardiola continue to dominate the Premier League, winning four out of the last five seasons, with Liverpool’s 2020 title win the only setback for the treble winners.
When asked if he would miss Klopp next season, City manager Guardiola responded:
“I will sleep better. The games against Liverpool have almost been a nightmare. Of course he will be missed. I was shocked like everyone. I felt listening to the news that a part of Man City will lose something.
“We cannot define our period together here without him. We cannot define our period without Liverpool. It’s impossible. They’ve been our biggest rival and personally he’s been the best rival I’ve ever had in my life.
“The Premier League are going to miss him, the charisma and his personality. And especially the way his teams play. It’s always been a pleasure to respect his approach, how positive it is no matter what. The fans are going to try to win the game. Of course, I wish him all the best. It’s always tough, but from now on Liverpool will be tougher.
“Football needs personalities like him. My dream is I hope we can have dinners together and all the drink we deserve to take.”
Meanwhile, Klopp is expected to move abroad with his wife, as per Mark Lawrenson as former Liverpool defender and pundit.
The 56-year-old was non-committal when asked exactly what he would do next after spending the last 23 years on the touchline, but Lawrenson believes Klopp is already planning to move abroad with his wife, Ulla.
‘I’m not sure I should tell you this but it’s not a massive secret. He’s having a house built in Mallorca,’ Lawrenson told Off the Ball.
‘I have a house somewhere not far away from where he’s building his, and I saw him the other month, and I just said to him after the game “how’s the house going on?”
‘And Ulla, his wife, is in charge of everything in terms of that, and he just said “the bloody thing’s not even ready yet, and I’m paying all the bills!” So he’s probably going to retreat to there for a while, I would suggest.’
Klopp purchased the home in Mallorca in June 2022 for €4m (£3.4m) from Swiss businessman and artist Rolf Knie.
It is a 5,000-square metre property, and Klopp decided to completely rebuild it, but it is still not finished.
It is understood that Klopp stays at a nearby hotel when he visits the island, but that is set to change when the redevelopment is complete.
While progress on the house has not been swift, Lawrenson insisted it will be well worth the wait.
‘I can tell you now, it’s not a nice gaff, it’s an absolutely fabulous gaff. It’s sensational, it really seriously is,’ Lawrenson added.
Speaking on his future at a press conference on Friday, Klopp stated that he wanted to try and live a ‘normal life’ when he departs Liverpool, and insisted he would not return to the dugout for at least a year.
‘I have never lived a (normal) life. That is true,’ he said. ‘Having three or four weeks in the summer was enough, but not any more.
‘No club, no country for the next year, no other English club ever, I can promise that. Even if I have nothing to eat, it will not happen.’
He now looks set to spend more time with Ulla, who has had a major influence on Klopp’s key decisions over the years.
Klopp’s admission of burnout mirrors when he left his previous club Borussia Dortmund after Ulla was said to have played a major role in his departure.
Klopp’s wife Ulla has been an influential voice during key moments in his career
Klopp was asked about the influence of Ulla on his resignation – and said she was ‘happy’ with his decision.
She had also been integral to him signing a new contract extension in 2022. The pair met while Ulla was working as a waitress in a bar in Munich before getting married in 2005.
‘I had to explain it, of course I had to,’ he said. ‘It was not like, “Oh, thank God”. You must not misunderstand. Not at all.
‘Obviously Ulla wants me to do well and be fine, and when she realised that I’m really clear about [his decision], she is happy for me.’