Which bearded, bespectacled German has been backed off the boards to become new Liverpool manager?
Roberto Martinez and Brendan Rodgers are still the joint-favourites to leave big guns Wigan or Swansea respectively for Liverpool, but one German has been the subject of plenty of interest today.
Rodgers and Martinez are both locked at 5/4 with Paddy Power in the betting to become next Reds manager.
But whispers this morning from the home of Mickey Mouse, along with a huge amount of cash overnight, make Borussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp a serious contender.
The 44-year-old German is now 3/1 from 20s in the online betting with Paddy Power to become a Kop idol.
Klopp made Borussia Dortmund history earlier this month by sealing the club’s first domestic double, beating Bayern Munich 5–2 to win the DFB-Pokal after already lifting the league title. Yes, Bayern may have been more focused on taking crap penalties against Chelsea, but claiming a second Bundesliga title in a row undoubtedly adds to his credentials.
But Klopp seems to find the Anfield job as enticing as poo-scented soap, saying: “I have been made aware of interest from England, and it is an honour to be linked with big clubs in the Premier League.
“But I have a contract with Dortmund until 2016 and am going nowhere. I love it here and have no intention of changing clubs.”
Of course, no footballer or manager has ever denied talking to clubs while insisting they love it at their current place of employment.
So that, ahem, leaves Swansea City manager Rodgers or Wigan relegation-battler Martinez slugging it out.
Wigan’s rent-a-quote chairman, Dave Whelan suggested last week that Martinez (38), who has been interviewed twice for the Liverpool job, had sought assurances about the extent of his power should he accept the position.
The Spanish manager couldn’t be more ‘short-term fad’ if he came with a free charity wrist-band. He’s far from universally popular with the Anfield faithful. He does seem to have manoeuvred himself into a classic ‘win-win’ situation with Whelan talking about beefing up his contract to keep him at the club.
The procrastination/moneyballing from John W. Henry and his buddies seems to have reopened the door for Rodgers after the sacking of Dalglish earlier this month. Last week the Swansea boss said he wasn’t interested taking the job, but nothing changes minds quicker than truckloads of cash being thrown in your general direction.