Ex-Dortmund boss has seen message but not replied, Liverpool sources tell Back of the Net...
Jurgen Klopp is yet to respond to Ian Ayre's casual text about meeting up this week, causing a mounting sense of anxiety at Anfield, club insiders have reported.
Liverpool brought Brendan Rodgers’ three-year tenure to an end on Sunday, and the club moved quickly to tell Klopp that they were ‘thinking of [him]’ and wondered whether he might be free to meet up later in the week.
But in news that will concern the Kop faithful, the former Borussia Dortmund manager is yet to respond, sparking frantic speculation that the club may have bungled their initial approach, or worse, misread Klopp’s intentions.
“We all thought [the text message] was a good mix of professional and coy,” club director Ayre told FourFourTwo. “The term ‘meet up’ is laid back but ambiguous, and the winky-face emoji at the end suggested the definite possibility of getting closer in the future, without making things too obvious. It’s just the sort of thing that would appeal to a work-hard, play-hard guy like Jurgen.”
Ayre confirmed that Klopp read the message less than 20 minutes after receiving it, but his initial confidence turned to unease as the hours passed without a reply from the German tactician.
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“Maybe the winky-face emoji gave out the wrong signals,” Ayre continued. “I personally thought an old-fashioned smiley-face emoji would have been more in keeping with the Liverpool way, but [vice-chairman] David [Ginsberg] wanted a crying-with-laughter emoji followed by the red-lipstick emoji so we had to meet him halfway.”
Team officials spent Monday obsessively checking their phones, while Ayre favourited a couple of Klopp’s tweets, hoping to subtly jog the 48-year-old's memory. But he acknowledged that the deadline was fast approaching for Liverpool to send a follow-up message, and risk being humiliated in front of all the other clubs if Klopp ignored that one too.
“Now is not the time to panic,” Ayre added, dismissing rumours that Klopp is notorious in the football community for stringing interested clubs along. “Maybe Jurgen just likes to play it cool. Right now, all we can do is wait. And wish John Henry had never sent that Facebook message about coming over for Netflix and chill.”