Klopp insists Liverpool can attract top targets without Champions League football
Liverpool have been given a crucial insight into what they can expect from their incoming sporting director with Jorg Schmadtke set to be appointed at Anfield. Jurgen Klopp is understood to be keen for the Wolfsburg transfer chief to join him on Merseyside ahead of a busy transfer window and help manage a major overhaul at the club, and formerLiverpool cult hero Eric Meijer has given his verdict on the German.
Schmadtke, 59, will play a key role in deciding which players to target this summer once his appointment is confirmed by Liverpool as he replaces Julian Ward, who stepped down in January.
The Reds face an uphill task in their final three games this season to secure Champions League football for next season, with Manchester United, Newcastle, Tottenham and Brighton all vying to finish in the top four.
In any case, it has been a season to forget for Klopp’s men as they end the season without a trophy and they are poised for a huge clearout. Six players are out of contract and look set to depart, including Naby Keita and Roberto Firmino, while Liverpool are believed to be interested in signing as many as four players to bolster Klopp’s ranks.
Meijer played 26 times for Liverpool during his one season at the club before departing in 2000 and later became a sporting director himself at Alemannia Aachen. And he thinks Klopp and Schmadtke could be a perfect match based on their character.
“Jorg finds managers that can make clubs better and players that managers can make better. And that is what Jurgen Klopp loves; players you can make better, he never wants the finished article,” he told the Daily Mail.
“He much prefers being with those who know their best days are in front of them. Jurgen, I believe, respects him a lot. He wants people around him that are the best at their jobs.”
Previous sporting director Michael Edwards proved to be a massive success at Anfield, bringing in several stars for cheap fees and watching them blossom into world-class players.
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Most notably, he pushed back on Klopp’s desire to capture Julian Brandt, instead urging him to sign Mohamed Salah back in 2017 – and the rest is history.
Meijer predicts Schmadtke’s relationship would be similar, adding the German doesn’t back down from giving his point of view and won’t be a ‘yes’ man.
“Jurgen has never said he knows the answer for everything. He doesn’t want people who will only say yes or do what he says,” he added. “Jorg is his own man and not afraid to speak out when he has a strong view.”
Schmadtke, a former goalkeeper with Fortuna Dusseldorf and Freiburg in his playing days, is expected to sign a three-year contract until June 2026 once the details of his move have been finalised.
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