Feyenoord boss Slot a strong candidate to replace Klopp at Liverpool

Arne Slot is at the forefront of Liverpool’s search for a replacement for Jurgen Klopp.

The Feyenoord head coach ticks all their key criteria for the position, although Sky Sports News understands the process is not a foregone conclusion, with the Eredivisie club determined to keep Slot.

There is also interest from other top clubs and Liverpool are still in dialogue with several options, but the 45-year-old is a strong candidate.

Slot, who secured the KNVB Cup last weekend and led Feyenoord to their first title in six years last season, appeals to Liverpool due to his aggressive, full-throttle style.

He has drilled his team to be adept at turning defensive actions into shooting opportunities and they top the Eredivisie for tackles won in the opposition’s final third.

Feyenoord have the best defence in the league and the second-best offensive metrics.

Slot has proved capable of improving individuals as well as the collective, while operating on a smaller budget than his core competitors, and his penchant for a 4-2-3-1 or 4-4-3 formation fits Liverpool’s squad.

Slot has previously been approached by Tottenham, Chelsea and Leeds. He signed a new contract last May to keep him at Feyenoord until 2026 but has referenced a desire to make the next step in his career.

Compensation is anticipated to be in the region of £9m if a deal is to be closed.

Sporting manager Ruben Amorim was under consideration by Liverpool but sources say he is no longer in the frame, as it stands.

West Ham are interested in Amorim but Julen Lopetegui, the former Wolves, Real Madrid and Spain boss, and Paulo Fonseca, currently in charge of Lille, are considered the frontrunners.

‘He has all the hallmarks of Johan Cruyff’

Slot took over from Dick Advocaat at Feyenoord for the start of the 21/22 season with the club finishing fifth the previous season. Just two years later, they were champions of the Eredivisie. He built a team with the key combination of playing intense, attack-minded football that presses whilst also being able to win.

Feyenoord look set to fail to defend their crown this season as they are second behind PSV Eindhoven, nine points adrift with four games to play. In Europe they finished third in their Champions League group before dropping into the Europa League where they were knocked out by Roma on penalties in February.

Speaking to Sky Sports in May 2023, Dutch football journalist Marcel van der Kraan said: “He’s a really good manager. I’ve followed Feyenoord for 40 years. Not since the days of Johan Cruyff at Ajax in the 1980s has there been a coach so attack-minded in the Dutch league. Cruyff only had a few disciples who followed him and one of them was Pep Guardiola.

“I would say Slot is a Guardiola-style manager based on everything I’ve seen over the past couple of years. The fans of Feyenoord can’t believe what they’ve seen over that time.”

What has Slot said about managing in Premier League?

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Feyenoord head coach Slot revealed his admiration for the Premier League last May when he was previously linked with a job at Tottenham

Last summer, Slot was one of the leading contenders for the then-vacant Tottenham manager’s role and Sky Sports News reporter Gary Cotterill went to Rotterdam to cover the story.

Cotterill found Slot to be “engaging, polite, very smiley, he’s got presence and charisma – and he’s funny” when writing about his trip to get the lowdown on the Feyenoord boss, who has been open about his desire to manage in the Premier League.

“My next step will not be a club in Holland,” he said in May 2023.

“If that is my next step, then I’ve failed completely. The normal next step will be to go abroad and I’ve always said the best league in the world is the Premier League.”

What happened with Tottenham’s approach for Slot?

Spurs were determined to get Slot last summer after he secured the Eredivisie title with Feyenoord.

However, Slot ruled himself out of the running to take over in north London before signing a new contract at Feyenoord a few days later which runs until 2026.

“I’m not done here yet,” Slot said after the announcement of his new deal.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy was keen on securing Arnie Slot last summer

The potential deal with Spurs never got to any formal stage of discussions with him or Feyenoord and Spurs’ bosses felt that Slot used their interest in him to get an improved contract in the Netherlands.

Ange Postecoglou was eventually appointed by Spurs from Celtic.

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