Liverpool blow as Arne Slot suffers first recruitment FAILURE

Incoming Liverpool head coach Arne Slot is reported to have been KNOCKED BACK in an attempt to make a significant appointment to his Anfield boot room. 

Slot, 45, is expected to be confirmed as successor to Jurgen Klopp imminently, with the German stepping down at the end of the season following a glorious nine-year spell in charge. 

The Dutchman came out on top following an exhaustive search conducted by the Liverpool hierarchy, with Xabi Alonso, Ruben Amorim, Julian Nagelsmann and Roberto De Zerbi among the other names linked with the role. 

Slot has enjoyed immense success in charge of Eredivisie club Feyenoord, coaching the side to the Dutch title last season and to the KNVB Beker (Dutch cup) this term. 

Feyenoord’s coaching team has been highly regarded throughout Slot's tenure and he is reported to be seeking to bring some key individuals with him to Merseyside

Assistant Sipke Hulshoff is expected to come on board and head of performance Ruben Peeters is also a target. 

The overall compensation package agreed between Liverpool and Feyenoord is expected to include fees for staff coming with Slot. 

Marino Pusic will not be moving to Liverpool

However, one of Slot’s key allies will NOT be making the move to Anfield alongside his old boss. 

Marino Pusic was first an assistant to Slot during his time as AZ coach, and moved to Feyenoord upon Slot’s appointment at De Kuip back in 2021. 

Together they reached the first-ever UEFA Europa Conference League final, where they were beaten by Jose Mourinho’s Roma, and also won the Eredivisie title together last season. 

He had previously been head coach of FC Twente, who he led to the Dutch top flight back in 2019, before moving into a support role with Slot. 

However, Pusic was recruited to become head coach of Shakhtar Donetsk back in October and looks set to become a Ukrainian Premier League-winning coach at the first time of asking. 

The Athletic is now reporting that Slot ASKED Pusic to become a member of his new coaching staff at Liverpool but the Bosnian-born tactician wants to remain as first-team coach with Shakhtar. 

Pusic, 52, earned the plaudits shortly after his arrival, coaching the Miners to a memorable Champions League group stage victory over Barcelona back in November. 

'Incredible shame' that Slot lost Pusic

He replaced Dutchman Patrick van Leeuwen last year, who had only been in the head coach role for 12 matches. 

Upon the completion of his deal with Shakhtar, Slot admitted that Pusic’s loss was a bitter blow to the club but wished him all the best nonetheless for his future endeavours. 

"I am going to miss a very nice person," Slot said according to Voetbal International

“From the day we started working together until now, there hasn't been a day that I haven't felt his support or loyalty. 

“That may sound very normal, but it is very special. To repay that loyalty, I didn't want to deprive him of this opportunity.

"It's an incredible shame that he's gone, but I wish him this opportunity more than anyone else."

Hulshoff took up more duties upon Pusic’s departure, including analysis of upcoming opponents. 

Shakhtar also boast one of European football’s emerging gems, Giorgi Sudakov, who is also reported to be a transfer target for the Reds

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