Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said he will miss Jurgen Klopp but will “sleep better” after the German announced he will be leaving the club at the end of the season.
It was a decision that surprised many, including Guardiola. On Friday morning, in a video message from the club’s Melwood training ground, Jurgen Klopp announced his exit after a trophy-laden nine-year spell.
The 56-year-old, who has lifted the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup and Club World Cup during his time at Anfield, cited fatigue as a reason behind the move.
“I can understand that it’s a shock for a lot of people in this moment, when you hear it for the first time, but obviously I can explain it – or at least try to explain it,” he said.
“It is that I am, how can I say it, running out of energy. I have no problem now, obviously, I knew it already for longer that I will have to announce it at one point, but I am absolutely fine now.”
He added: “I know that I cannot do the job again and again and again and again.”
Many have had their say on Klopp’s departure, including great rival Pep Guardiola, who gave his thoughts on the situation after City secured their place in the FA Cup fifth round with a 1-0 win over Spurs.
Speaking to ITV, the Spaniard said: “He’s an incredible manager. I haven’t got to know him closely, but he’s an incredible person as well.
“I have a feeling when he leaves, part of Manchester City leaves. He’s been our biggest rival, Liverpool in these years here and with Dortmund, he’s been my biggest rival. He will be missed, I will miss him.
“I’m a little bit pleased, I’ll sleep better, the nights before we play against Liverpool. But I wish him all the best. And he doesn’t admit it, but he will be back.”
Guardiola added: “Football needs personalities and managers like him. I hope we can time to have dinner together.”
Guardiola, who joined Manchester City in 2016 after spells at Bayern Munich and Barcelona, said he could relate to Klopp’s decision.
“All the managers [can relate]. In many years, many years in the same place, I found that in Barcelona,” he said. “So all the arguments I hear today, that I listened to about that, I understand completely.”
Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino also reacted to the news of Klopp’s untimely exit.
“I was in shock. I saw the news. It’s really sad. When we were sacked from Tottenham, the first message I received was from him,” Pochettino said after Chelsea’s 0-0 draw against Aston Villa on Friday.
“I haven’t sent him a message but I will thank him on Wednesday. We will miss him, but we should accept.
“If his wishes are to rest and go away, we need to accept. Sad news. Yes, a great character, great man, great coach.
“English football is going to miss him and Liverpool of course.”