Feyenoord coach Arne Slot emerges as favourite for Liverpool job

Merseyside calling? Arne Slot lifts the Dutch cup at the end of Sunday's final. Photo: ANP/Olaf Kraak

Feyenoord coach Arne Slot is emerging as the front runner to take over as manager of English Premier League club Liverpool when Jürgen Klopp leaves at the end of the season.

The six-times European champions are said to have stepped up their pursuit of Slot in recent days, aided by their good relations with his agent Rafaela Pimenta, who also represents dozens of English-based players.

Slot, 45, has made a strong impact at Feyenoord since arriving from AZ Alkmaar in 2021, ending a six-year league title drought in 2023 and reaching the final of the UEFA Conference League. On Sunday the Rotterdam club beat NEC Nijmegen 1-0 to lift the Dutch Cup for the 14th time.

He has also impressed with his team’s attacking style of play, high fitness levels and a meticulous approach to coaching and match preparation.

His success has been a welcome boost for a club that has been hampered by financial difficulties that have forced Slot to balance the books in the transfer market. Following the Conference League final in 2021 he had to rebuild the squad after nine players were sold.

The coach himself has given little away about his future plans, but said last week that he “would talk to the right club if it comes along.” He has kept his cards close to his chest after the experience of being sacked by AZ in December 2020 when they learned he was in advanced talks to succeed Dick Advocaat.

Feyenoord have cancelled their regular pre-match press conference for Thursday night’s league match against Go Ahead Eagles, although the club insist that decision was taken before the cup final.

Contract extension

Managing director Dennis Kroese also said it was no surprise that Slot was attracting interest. “He has made good progress and given Feyenoord real allure. But we recently extended his contract and won’t let him go easily.”

Last season Feyenoord managed to fend off an approach from another English club, Tottenham, after reportedly demanding €7 million in compensation. Back then Slot said that he saw a move to the Premier League as the “normal next step” in his career.

The club also extended his contract to 2026 with no release clause, allowing them to name their price for the highly coveted coach. Transfer specialist Ben Jacobs reported that Feyenoord’s baseline figure is €10 million.

Liverpool could face competition from other European giants such as Barcelona and Bayern Munich for Slot’s services, with both clubs looking to bounce back from disappointing seasons.

But according to Dutch website 1908, Slot has already started house-hunting on Merseyside so that he can move his whole family out of Rotterdam.

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