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‘I know something else’: Ex-Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez hints at a secret reason for Jurgen Klopp’s out-of-the-blue resignation

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Rafa Benitez has suggested he has inside knowledge of what prompted Jurgen Klopp’s shock decision to step down at the end of the season.

The Liverpool manager stunned the world of football on Friday, when he announced he will leave Anfield in May after nine seasons, despite having two years left on his deal.

Citing the fact he was ‘running out of energy’, the German hinted he may never manage in football ever again.

While Klopp’s admission of burnout mirrors when he left his previous club Borussia Dortmund after seven years, news of his impending departure was a bolt out of the blue.

Liverpool are in the hunt for four trophies this season and the German successfully overhauled his squad in the summer, reshaping his midfield and blooding young talent into the team.

But Benitez, who won the Champions League and FA Cup in six seasons in charge of Liverpool, insisted Klopp’s departure was not surprising to him.

‘I have an advantage, which is that I have people in Liverpool and also people at the club.

‘So more or less, I know how it has happened. I know something else from inside, and it has more merit than being there.

‘He [Klopp] goes and speaks up, giving the club time to re-organise, which, from another perspective, is also very German, because they do notify in advance.

‘So it is not a shock.’

Klopp has won the Premier LeagueChampions League, the FA Cup and Carabao Cup over nine hugely successful years at Anfield and Benitez was full of praise for his record.

‘I only have positive words about Klopp, because he is my friend and I have a good relationship with him,’ he said.

‘He has done and is doing an enormous job. Everything I can say about Klopp and Liverpool is positive.

In a video message Liverpool released on Friday, Klopp said: ‘I will leave the club at the end of the season.

‘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.

‘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.

‘I know that I cannot do the job again and again and again and again.’

Bayer Leverkusen manager Xabi Alonso, who played under Benitez at Liverpool, is the current favourite to replace Klopp in the Anfield dugout next season.

Brighton boss Roberto de Zerbi and Sporting manager Ruben Amorim are also on the shortlist and Benitez is hopeful Klopp’s successor can continue the run of success kickstarted by the German.

‘Let’s hope Liverpool will do well for now and when another coach comes too,’ he added.

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