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Jurgen Klopp to USMNT not 'impossible' but Liverpool salary problem has already cropped up

Jurgen Klop and Ulla Sandrock attend day seven of the Mallorca Championships at Mallorca Country Club on June 29, 2024 in Palma de Mallorca, Spain.
-Credit: (Image: Manuel Queimadelos/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)


Liverpool supporters will watch Jurgen Klopp's next move keenly. Inevitably, despite declaring a break of a least a year for himself, there has been significant interest in his services since he left Anfield, and the latest links have connected him to the USMNT.

At present, Gregg Berhalter is still in charge, but the early elimination from the Copa America has raised questions about his future. Coincidentally or not, amid the rumors, Klopp posted on July 4 about his fond memories of the US during Liverpool pre-season tours.

When he announced he was leaving Liverpool, Klopp admitted he was running out of energy, so a national team job could potentially be a good way back in for him. Although he may not be ready to cut his break short just yet, with wife Ulla having mandated that he take dancing lessons and learn how to cook.

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But there could be bigger barriers than that in the way of him joining the USMNT. German football expert Constantin Eckner told talkSPORT that a move would be almost "impossible" — although it seems he was wide of the mark on the details.

“I don’t believe [Klopp] will be the United States national head coach though because it’s almost impossible," said Eckner. "They [the USMNT] introduced an equal pay policy last year.

"Emma Hayes – who is managing the United States women’s team – is receiving $2m a year which means that Klopp would also earn $2m per year. I don’t believe that’s an offer he will take."

However, the collective bargaining agreement Eckner references does not appear to cover the salary of head coaches, instead installing pay equity (or something close to it) in other areas. Before the arrival of Hayes, for instance, previous USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski earned three times less than Berhalter, his USMNT counterpart.

Even so, Klopp's salary could well be a problem for the USMNT. It's already been cited as a stumbling block for Germany, the other national team heavily linked with appointing the former Liverpool boss.

Manager Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield on May 19, 2024 in Liverpool, England.
Jurgen Klopp earned a significant salary at Liverpool. -Credit:Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

“The DFB can’t pay Jurgen Klopp at all, he earns a fixed €24m ($26m/£21m) a year, plus €26m ($28m/£22m) guaranteed advertising income — so €50m ($54m/£43m),” the German FA's Ralph-Uwe Schaffert said in an interview last December (via Focus).

“The next national coach will no longer get what Hansi Flick got — because the DFB can no longer afford it,” Schaffert continued. “You hardly have a Bundesliga coach who earns less than a million. It’s all gone so crazy that it’s almost impossible to reduce it.”

Of course, Klopp could choose to take a drastically lower salary than his Liverpool wage. But it still looks unlikely that we'll be seeing him at the USMNT, even though it's not strictly impossible.

Liverpool.com says: In fairness, Klopp will probably re-enter the sport for whatever project enthuses him. He won't work for nothing, but he's already a very rich man, and can keep getting richer off brand deals alone if he so wishes.

In that sense, maybe the USMNT stands a chance. But given that it would presumably struggle to pay Klopp anything like his Liverpool wage, it would need to be one heck of a pitch to get him on board, especially so soon into his planned break.