By extending Klopp’s contract for another two years, some supporters may have questioned whether Lijnders’ own personal ambitions would have seen him depart before 2026.
The Dutchman, who returned to Liverpool in 2018 as Klopp’s assistant, working alongside Peter Krawietz, explained last year that his “plan” was to go back into management after a short spell with NEC Breda.
“That’s the plan [to go back into management]. Jurgen knows this,” Lijnders said of his career plans in December 2021.
“I have a contract to 2024 and when the time comes I will sit down with my management and see the options I have. We are in the middle of this project, this beautiful project, and after that, I will decide.
“But definitely, that’s the plan.”
Many supporters see the likeable 39-year-old as the perfect successor to Klopp, ushering in a new ‘bootroom’ at the club, but any concerns that Lijnders will move on before Klopp departs have firmly been put to bed.
In signing a new deal, Klopp revealed that Lijnders and Krawietz have also signed extensions at the club to 2026 – something the manager said is “the most important actually.”
Klopp has never stayed at a club beyond seven years and had until this announcement been pretty adamant about leaving Liverpool in 2024, by which time he would have been at the club almost nine years.
But, in highlighting how he feels “there is a freshness about us as a club still and this energises me,” Klopp spoke especially glowingly about Lijnders’ role in energising him.
“It was clear I need to have one more really important conversation and that was the one to Pep Lijnders,” the boss explained.
“He is probably the main reason for it because he is a real energiser – you know him, this man is on fire and our connection is beyond football things.
“When he said, ‘Oh, yes, I am in!’ then it was clear that we are open for any kind of talks. That’s why we sit here now.
“I have been lucky enough to meet many, many people in football during my time in the game and I don’t think I have ever met anyone with the energy and enthusiasm he has for this game.”
“To have Pep and Pete join me in signing new deals and therefore making sure we’d continue to work together was incredibly important to me in making my decision to sign my own contract.
“I’ve said there were a number of things that made my decision an easy one – and Pep and Pete signing was one of them. A massive one, in fact.
“It is important they remain here to continue the continuity of our project together. What they bring to Liverpool FC is invaluable.
“This news today is exciting for us all and I am so happy that I will have Pep and Pete alongside me to continue our incredible story together.”