Cape Town - Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has hinted he will leave the club and take a football "sabbatical" when his current contract expires in 2022.
The German succeeded Brendan Rodgers as the man in charge at Anfield back in 2015 following successful spells in his homeland with Mainz and Borussia Dortmund.
Klopp has certainly enjoyed success during his time an Anfield, guiding the club to Champions League glory last season as well as to within touching distance of a first Premier League title – although they were ultimately pipped to the post by Manchester City.
Liverpool have begun the new season well, too, winning their first three games of the season to sit top of the table early on.
Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports Group are keen to tie the 52-year-old down to a new deal, but he has now indicated that he could leave the club when his contract expires in less than three years’ time to take a break from football.
When asked if he was planning to take a sabbatical, Klopp told Kicker: “It looks like it. Who can now say if he can give it his all in three years’ time?
“If I decide for myself that I can’t go on anymore, I’ll take a break and in that year I’d have to make a definite decision [over my career].
“I have absolute energy, but I have one problem; I can’t do ‘a little bit.’ I can only do ‘all or nothing.'”
Klopp has suggested that he will return from any potential sabbatical and continue his managerial career, although it would seem unlikely that he would rejoin Liverpool.
He added: “The chances are very high that my energy levels will go up again [after a year’s break], and that I can then do the job the way I want to.”
Former Reds captain and current Rangers boss Steven Gerrard is someone that has been consistently linked with succeeding Klopp in the Anfield dugout given his obvious connections to the club.
The former England star has impressed during his time in charge at Ibrox and he has guided the Gers to a perfect start to the new Scottish Premiership season.
Former Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek played alongside Gerrard on Merseyside and he believes the 39-year-old is certainly the right man to succeed Klopp.
“When I was in Liverpool recently, it was no secret that Steven is the man and indeed, only candidate for replacing Klopp when he decides his time at Anfield is over,” Dudek told Przeglad Sportowy, cited by the Daily Record.
“Everyone knows that sooner or later the great captain will return.”
Of course, a lot could change between now and 2022, but the power certainly appears to be in Klopp’s hands. He could ultimately yet sign a new contract with the Reds to stay on as boss or decide the time is right to leave after seven years in charge.