London (AFP) – Jurgen Klopp has responded to Steven Gerrard’s comment that the Liverpool manager should sign a contract for life by making it clear his Anfield reign is “far from being over”.
Asked this week if he harbours dreams of one day managing Liverpool, new Aston Villa boss Gerrard said he would be happy if his old club tied Klopp for as long as possible.
Klopp’s current contract runs until 2024, at which point the German, 54, would have been at the club for nine years — the longest stay in his managerial career.
“I saw Stevie say a lot of nice and smart things,” Klopp said on Friday. “I don’t have to think about these kind of things at the moment thank God because we are in the middle of this season and that’s all we are focused on.
“No other manager gets asked that often about what happens in three or four years. I didn’t think about and I don’t want to think about it.
“It’s all fine how it is. It’s over when it’s over, but it’s far away from being over so let’s focus on that.”
Klopp will block out the talk about his future as he focuses on in-form Arsenal’s visit to Anfield on Saturday.
Arsenal are unbeaten in eight league games and pose a serious threat to Liverpool’s hopes of bouncing back after their 25-game unbeaten run ended in a 3-2 defeat at West Ham before the international break.
Sitting four points behind leaders Chelsea after two league matches without a win, Klopp knows Liverpool have little margin for error against the Gunners.
“We all know we need to stay in front of Arsenal. To stay in and around the top of the league, you need results and we didn’t have enough good results in the last few weeks,” Klopp said.
“We know we have to perform, we know we have to fight. That’s pretty much the most important information probably — we have to fight because Arsenal are a really good football team.”
Klopp’s preparations have been hit after England midfielder Jordan Henderson and Scotland left-back Andrew Robertson returned from international duty with minor injuries, which have so far prevented them training this week.
“I hate international breaks — absolutely, it wasn’t helpful,” Klopp said.
“It didn’t help from an injury point of view. If we had played a week later (after West Ham) our players would have had two days off.”
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