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Manchester United icon Peter Schmeichel believes Jurgen Klopp will begin thinking deeply about his future at Liverpool if they’re knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid. Liverpool picked up their first league win of 2023 on Monday with their best performance for months against Everton.
Prior to that, it was hard to see where a positive result was going to come from with Klopp’s squad seemingly devoid of any confidence whatsoever. Klopp had regularly cut a dejected figure on the touchline and was noticeably apologetic to the travelling Liverpool fans that witnessed their 3-0 humiliating defeat to Brighton last month.
Sitting 10th in the table and having been knocked out of both the Carabao Cup and FA Cup, the season was beginning to look like a complete write-off. There is still the chance of another European adventure in the Champions League, but they’ll have to enact revenge on Real after losing last year’s final.
The Merseyside victory over Everton will give Klopp’s side some momentum and a win away at Newcastle this upcoming weekend before the match against Real would provide an even bigger boost. But there will be pressure from the outset for Liverpool to – at the very least – keep themselves in the tie from the first leg to avoid another disastrous cup exit.
If they fail to get past Real, Schmeichel believes Klopp will begin questioning whether he’s the right man to take Liverpool forward. “I’m just thinking about Klopp’s legacy because if he gets knocked out in the Champions League that means he’s out of all competitions,” he told The Athletic.
“He’s 21 points behind the top spot in the Premier League. I think if he gets knocked out, I think he will want to leave himself.” After Jamie Carragher replied “no”, Schmeichel added: “He won’t leave. He won’t say ‘I’m going to quit’, but he would want to leave because it’s a big job to rebuild a club like Liverpool.
“He has already done it once. It took him five years. It’s a big, big job. Does he have the energy for that? And as you said with Nagelsmann. If he’s out of a job, well there’s a good chance that Klopp will go to Bayern Munich.
“And we know for sure, absolutely, the only reason that Germany hasn’t sacked (Hansi Flick) is because Klopp is not available. That’s the only reason he’s still in his job. So how will Klopp leave Liverpool? In a slump?”
Germany were humiliated at the 2022 World Cup as they were knocked out of the group stages, but Klopp’s agent rubbished any suggestion that the Liverpool boss would be willing to take the role any time soon. “This is a media topic. Jürgen has a contract at Liverpool until 2026 and he intends to fulfil it,” Marc Kosicke said in December.
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