Liverpool man on list to join major European club and link up with ex-Red

Pep Lijnders is reportedly in the running for a major European job once he leaves Liverpool this summer. Jurgen Klopp's assistant is departing with the German.

The Telegraph reports that Pep Lijnders is in the running to be the new Ajax manager. The Dutch giants will appoint a boss after this season, with John van’t Schip currently working as an interim.

Ajax have had a horrendous season by their standards and while they've worked their way back up to fifth, they're currently 31 points behind leaders PSV Eindhoven after just 26 games. Change is needed, then.

And Lijnders finds himself on their shortlist. The Dutchman will leave Liverpool this summer as Jurgen Klopp departs, having worked with the Reds for nearly a decade - only a short break to be NEC boss in 2018 split his spell with the Reds into two.

Lijnders has made no secret of the fact that he wants to get back into management, though. He talked this year about not wanting to work under any new manager at Liverpool, instead seeing Klopp's exit as the right time for him to pursue management once again.

"I always said I will finish with Jurgen; the moment I will not assist anyone else, that’s the moment I will go and I will manage," he said.

“That was always the case. So when we spoke, it was clear for me. Okay, then I go and manage, and we end this project together [that] we started. But yeah, it’s not easy."

Pep Lijnders and Ajax

Lijnders didn't exactly thrive as NEC manager - they failed to get promoted back to the Eredivisie and he left after less than one year. But that was also back in 2018.

Liverpool have come a long way since then, as has Lijnders' reputation. He's become a name in the game and took on far greater responsibility at Anfield after his return.

That included essentially managing the team in the Carabao Cup - a competition Liverpool won twice under Klopp. It all reflects well on Lijnders as a manager and someone who has learned a lot under the German. Certainly, he's got a lot more behind him than he did in his first management spell.

Nothing sums that up more than Ajax, of all teams, being interested. Now, perhaps they go in a different direction but the fact they're looking at a guy whose only management role was at a second-division club shows just how much respect is there for Lijnders and Klopp's coaching staff.

And who knows? If he gets the job and nails it, perhaps we'll see Lijnders back at Liverpool one day.

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