Following his side’s 6-1 defeat at Stoke on the final day of the Premier League campaign, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers admitted that Steven Gerrard may not be the only figure of authority heading out the Anfield exit door this summer.
Rodgers spoke after the Britannia massacre:
“I’ve always said if the owners want me to go, then I go.
“For everybody connected with Liverpool, we are all embarrassed by that result.”
Having taken over a club that finished eighth in 2011/12, it would be completely blinkered to insist Rodgers has done a bad job for the Reds.
The Northern Irishman did what his two immediate predecessors, Roy Hodgson and Kenny Dalglish, couldn’t in leading them back to the Champions League, managing as much by playing a cracking brand of high-tempo, Marcelo Bielsa-inspired football.
That being said, it’s questionable whether Rodgers can attract the calibre of players Liverpool need to emulate that feat next term, considering there will only be Europa League fare on offer.
His £100m-plus splurge on eight players last summer, none of whom have been particularly successful, suggests he can’t.
Jurgen Klopp, who will leave Borussia Dortmund following next week’s DFB-Pokal final after seven years at the Westfalenstadion, is the 6/5 favourite to be next Liverpool boss, and with few options open to the 47-year-old, a move would make plenty of sense.
Rumours have been swirling regarding approaches from Fenerbahce, West Ham and even Championship outfit Brentford for Klopp, so the Anfield hotseat should hold plenty of appeal, if it becomes available.
However, a name on many Liverpool fans’ lips over the weekend was former gaffer Rafa Benitez, who seems as likely as not to leave his post at Napoli at the end of term.
One betting firm has the Spaniard as low as evens to return to Merseyside when Rodgers leaves, while others go between 4/1-6/1, but bwin.com offer a top price of 7/1 on Benitez for next Liverpool manager.
Both Klopp and Benitez are also prominent in the boys in black and gold’s next Real Madrid manager market, with current coach Carlo Ancelotti expected to leave the Bernabeu in the coming weeks.
Klopp is the 7/2 second favourite behind 3/10 jolly Benitez, with Zinedine Zidane – the current boss of Los Blancos’ B team Real Madrid Castilla – next in the betting at 8/1.
New bwin punters can stick their £30 free bet on Rafa Benitez becoming Liverpool’s next manager, which would return £210 profit if it comes to pass.