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Liverpool news: Jurgen Klopp ‘surprised’ Reds chief and speaks out on replacement | Football | Sport

Liverpool CEO Billy Hogan admits he was ‘surprised’ when he first found out about Jurgen Klopp’s decision to leave the club at the end of the season. Hogan and other senior Anfield figures will soon set about finding Klopp’s replacement, although the German himself has ruled out playing any part in the process.

Klopp and Hogan faced the media on Friday with the dust still settling on the manager’s bombshell decision. The Liverpool board found out back in November, with Klopp now set to see out the remainder of the campaign before departing.

When asked whether the development came as a shock when Klopp first made his plans known, Hogan said: “Yeah, of course. But at the same time, he said in the video that it’s about the amount of work and pressure… he’s been [a manager] for 24 years.

“I’m surprised in a sense, but also I understand it. It’s a sad day but it’s also one that, credit to Jurgen, he’s come to the decision and wants the club to go through an orderly [replacement] process. That’s not easy to do if this news isn’t public. We will go through that process – the same one that brought us Jurgen – and we’ll do it in private.”

Although Klopp’s farewell is still several months away, talk has already turned to who could replace him. Former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso is one of the leading candidates, alongside Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi.

Having signed with Liverpool in 2015, Klopp is now part of the furtniture on Merseyside. But on the topic of his replacement, he insists that the decision will be left to Hogan and his colleagues, as he intends to play no part.

“I’m pretty sure that will happen. The last thing they need is advice from the old man talking out telling them, ‘By the way, make sure you bring this person in.’ I will definitely not do that.”

Liverpool are back in action on Sunday as they host Norwich City in the fourth round of the FA Cup. Chelsea will arrive at Anfield three days later as Klopp aims to cap off his final season with a second Premier League title.

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