Liverpool’s search for a new manager will focus on identifying a candidate with a proven pedigree.
The sacking of Brendan Rodgers, just a couple of hours after the Merseyside derby draw with Everton, was announced on Sunday night, despite the fact the Reds are only three points off the Barclays Premier League’s top four.
It is understood their next appointment will be one with a proven record – which is why three-time Champions League winner Carlo Ancelotti, a success in Italy, Spain and England, and former Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp are top of the list.
There is a feeling among owners Fenway Sports Group that a new man will get better results and performances from the existing squad of players.
The Northern Irishman received considerable resources, spending almost £300million and, while a thrilling Luis Suarez-inspired side came within touching distance of a first title in over two decades in the season before last, there has been a gradual decline ever since.
FSG’s statement accompanying the announcement Rodgers had been dismissed talks of decisive action, but in truth it is a significant U-turn as they backed him in June when it had seemed easier to get rid of him.
Instead they tinkered with his backroom staff and provided £80million for new transfers, largely offset by the £49million sale of Raheem Sterling to Manchester City.
But results did not improve significantly – Rodgers only secured four wins from his last 14 Premier League matches – and FSG felt it was left with no option.
Rodgers, who met with close ally Ian Ayre, Liverpool’s chief executive, after receiving the phone call from the United States, is understood to have taken the decision with dignity – which partly suggests he had half expected what was coming.
“Although this has been a difficult decision, we believe it provides us with the best opportunity for success on the pitch,” said a joint statement from owner John W Henry, chairman Tom Werner and president Mike Gordon.
“Ambition and winning are at the heart of what we want to bring to Liverpool and we believe this change gives us the best opportunity to deliver it.
“The search for a new manager is under way and we hope to make an appointment in a decisive and timely manner.”
Long-serving Reds defender Jamie Carragher has urged FSG to go out and get Klopp after sacking manager Brendan Rodgers.
The charismatic German, 48, has been waiting for the right job to come along since leaving Dortmund at the end of last season.
Carragher said on Sky Sports: “I think with either of those coming to Liverpool, the Liverpool supporters would be ecstatic: Carlo Ancelotti a Champions League winner three times, and we know what Klopp did at Borussia Dortmund.
“If it was me I would go for Klopp ahead of Ancelotti. I think he’s got more to prove. Ancelotti is a great manager of course but he’s gone to clubs where you would expect to win trophies.
“It’s a difficult job now at Liverpool getting them back into the top four. Forget talking about the title. And I think it needs someone with that energy and drive to get Liverpool back to where it wants to be and I think Jurgen Klopp’s that man.”