Next Liverpool manager: Rafa Benitez 'wants' to manage Reds again

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In spite of Liverpool's recent run, there is still little danger of Jurgen Klopp departing any time soon.

The Reds may be 19 points behind Manchester City, but it's hard to overstate the amount of credit Klopp has in the bank on Merseyside.

That said, it has always been expected that the German could leave when his contract expires in 2024.

There have been links with his national side when Joachim Low steps down - but aside from Klopp's next steps, who would take charge at Anfield? 

Having been elevated into the echelons of Paisley and Shankly, replacing the 53-year-old is going to be no easy task. 

According to the Liverpool Echo, the most likely candidates are Steven Gerrard, Pep Lijnders and Julian Nagelsmann, while Borussia Monchengladbach boss Marco Rose is another option. 

Klopp's shoes are almost impossibly big to fill, but one other candidate who could throw his hat into the ring is former Liverpool chief Rafael Benitez. 

A fellow Champions League winner, the Spaniard has since managed everywhere from Newcastle to the Chinese Super League. 

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Nonetheless, Spanish football expert and journalist Guillem Balague believes he has a sense of "unfinished business" at his old club - though he stressed Liverpool are not in a full-blown crisis requiring a change of manager just yet, despite four consecutive Premier League defeats.  

"There is a feeling of unfinished business with Rafa and Liverpool, I've always said that," Balague said on his YouTube channel. 

"Rafa would love to be the Liverpool manager at some point. Maybe in a time of crisis, proper crisis, not what's happening now.

"Maybe in a time where there's a need for a strong personality to steady a ship. But right now in the way that the owners are behaving and Klopp and everything, that situation doesn't exist.

"How can we think that Klopp has reached the end of an era? Look at the bigger picture, how can anyone suggest that?

"It's laughable. It's stupid and absurd to be talking about a future without Klopp."

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