Arne Slot confirmed as new Liverpool head coach as major Anfield overhaul completed

Liverpool have confirmed the appointment of Arne Slot as head coach on a three-year contract to succeed Jurgen Klopp.

Slot was identified as the man to replace Klopp last month with talks opening with the Eredivisie side after their KNVB Beker (Dutch Cup) victory over NEC Nijmegen on April 21.

With no release clause in Slot's contract at De Kuip, Feyenoord initially rejected Liverpool's opening offer of around £8m before an agreement was reached for the Reds to pay closer to £10m.

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Slot becomes Liverpool's first 'head coach' will is a title given to reflect the significant change in the structure within the club itself.

That figure is the highest-ever for a manager in Dutch football and Slot will now take over from Klopp, whose wildly successful nine-year stint came to a close after Sunday's 2-0 win over Wolves at Anfield.

Liverpool were hugely impressed with Slot's track record of developing and improving players at Feyenoord, while his communication skills are also understood to have been a selling point alongside a brand of football that is viewed as similar to that favoured at Anfield.

Slot has won the Rinus Michels award, which is given to who is viewed as the best coach in Dutch football, for the past two seasons and Liverpool have been keeping tabs on the 45-year-old since his time with AZ Alkmaar, where he challenged Ajax for the title in 2020 before the season was curtailed due to Covid.

Klopp made it known to club owners Fenway Sports Group back in November that he intended to stand down before the news was made public in late January, which immediately led to speculation over who would take over from a manager who has won every major trophy during his time at Anfield.

FSG were keen to restructure the club behind the scenes before embarking their managerial search and former sporting director Michael Edwards was appointed as the Boston group's first-ever 'CEO of Football' in March to effectively replace president Mike Gordon as the head of Liverpool FC. Edwards was quick to appoint Richard Hughes as sporting director at Anfield with the Bournemouth chief officially starting on Merseyside on June 1.

And after an exhaustive, data-led approach from Edwards and director of research Will Spearman, it was Slot's playing style that was seen to most resemble Klopp's at Liverpool and he will now take charge ahead of a pre-season schedule that sees the Reds fly out to the United States for friendlies with Arsenal, Manchester United and Real Betis in late July.

Slot is said to be keen to bring a number of backroom staff with him to England and is expected to appoint assistant Sipke Hulshoff and Ruben Peeters, who is head of performance at the Dutch club. Analyst Etienne Reijnen has also been reportedly lined up to join.

The move completes a major overhaul of the operation at Anfield following on from Edwards's return and the decision to bring in Hughes as sporting director. David Woodfine is also rejoining the club as assistant sporting director while Bournemouth's chief scout Mark Burchill is on board to work alongside Barry Hunter and Dave Fallows in the recruitment department.

Julian Ward, who replaced Edwards as sporting director in 2022 after serving as his assistant prior to that, is also returning to the fold as technical director within the Fenway setup.

Speaking last week, Klopp said of the new-look structure at Anfield: "It's great but did anyone make a story that they have all come back because I am leaving? It was really not because of me. It's nothing. You can ask Michael Edwards if he will speak in public, but our work together was really, really good.

"We worked well together and Richard Hughes, who I know, is a great, great guy. I liked the signings a lot. Who the club is bringing in, I like them all. We have a good team, a really good manager is coming in and we have all these guys too. The club is in good hands.

"People might worry about the future but I am not worried about the future and I really want the club to do well. I am not worried about the future. It is not that I am thinking: 'My God, how will that all go?' No, no. It is fine.

"But they will have to do it themselves and speak about themselves, I cannot judge the people on the way out saying 'I am not sure about that'. That would be really horrendous. I really like what they are doing. Yes there are a lot of changes, staff-wise but that is how it is. We are all fine.

"You work in football and then normally after a year or two you move on, next club. But we were privileged, we really feel that, to be able to do that for this long at this outstanding club.

"I see it like that, Pep (Lijnders), Johnny (Achterberg), Pete (Krawietz), Vitor Matos, we all see it like this. For such a long time, it was an honour and a privilege and now the next ones can do it."

Klopp also urged the club's supporters to get behind Slot in his final address to the Liverpool fans at Anfield, saying: "Obviously I saw a lot of people crying and it happened to me as well but change is good and I don't know exactly what to expect but if you move with the right attitude into that then it will be fine because the basics are 100% there and that is the team and the new coach, or manager, sorry.

"Now imagine it next season where you are not waiting to see how it starts. No, you run into it and with a new manager you go all in. And you keep believing, which is what you do, you can push the team. Get on your toes before we score, I say we because I am one of you now. I love you to bits."

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