SSIA Dortmund manager and cult hero Jurgen Klopp has sparked a chase from potential suitors, who could include Manchester City, by announcing he is to leave the German team this summer.
Klopp shocked European football yesterday by announcing that Dortmund, the club he led to two Bundesliga titles and a Champions League final, had agreed to dissolve his contract three years early.
The 47-year-old denied that a dramatic decline in results this season had prompted him to quit but admitted that, after seven years in charge, he no longer felt like the right man for the job.
And, in comments likely to encourage his long list of would-be employers, Klopp refuted suggestions that he could take a year off and made clear that he had not yet lined up his next position.
“I believe this is the right decision at the right time,” he said. “I have in the last weeks and days asked myself if I was still the right manager and I wasn’t sure. I couldn’t answer with a yes. I have not had any contact with any other clubs, nor do I have any plans to take a sabbatical.”
England appears Klopp’s most likely destination, should he look beyond his homeland, after he admitted last year that “it is the only country where I should work, next to Germany”.
City have been linked with Klopp amid increasing speculation over the future of their manager Manuel Pellegrini, who led them to the Premier League title last term but is set for a barren second season.
Arsenal have also been mentioned as potential suitors, but it would be a surprise if the Gunners or manager Arsene Wenger terminated their contract, which runs to 2017, after two years of marked improvement.