Pep Lijnders in talks to to become manager of major European club

Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders is in talks to take over as the head coach of Ajax at the end of the season.

Like Jurgen Klopp, Lijnders is set to depart Liverpool this summer, with his exit confirmed last month along with several key members of the Reds' backroom staff.

The 41-year-old had once been tipped as a potential successor to Klopp at Anfield, but is now set to move elsewhere in search of work as a manager.

According to various reports, including Dutch publication De Telegraaf, Lijnders is now 'in talks' with Ajax about leading the club next season.

The Eredivisie giants have struggled badly in 2023/24 and currently sit fifth in the league table, a massive 29 points off leaders PSV after just 23 games.

Current manager John van 't Schip was an interim appointment following the sacking of Maurice Steijn last October and is not expected to last beyond the end of the campaign.

A move to Ajax would reunite Lijnders with former Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson who joined the club from Al Ettfiaq in the January transfer window.

Lijnders who has taken a prominent role at Anfield in recent years and taken press conferences in the Carabao Cup this season joined the Reds from Porto in 2014, first assisting Brendan Rodgers, before continuing in the role under Klopp.

Back in 2018, he left Liverpool for his first managerial gig at NEC in the Dutch second tier, but lasted just six months before returning to Anfield.

25th February 2024 Wembley Stadium, London, England Carabao League Cup Final Football, Chelsea versus Liverpool Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp with their winners medals. ActionPlus12612159 ShaunxBrooks

Despite the announcement of his impending exit, many bookmakers continue to make Lijnders one of the frontrunners to replace Klopp next season. However, speaking prior to the Carabao Cup final win, the Dutchman ruled out the possibility of staying at Liverpool.

He told reporters: "When we had to talk already a long time ago, for me it was clear, it made it easier for me, when he [Klopp] said this will be it. We knew in the summer already that we are going towards the end of this project.

"So we spoke, last year I got offers [from other clubs], my heart always said yes, my loyalty and my friendship and my respect to Mike [Gordon] and Jurgen said no.

"On the moment we spoke and he said 'okay, I'm thinking about this', I said that's clear I will go and manage because we will end this project together.

"The club can find a new coach with new elements, but I'm excited to manage. I'm excited to go and find a new club, a club who really wants [me].

"But until the final [game] of the season, I'm focused on Liverpool, I'm not even knowing what's happening. That's why we have agents, no?"

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