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Who is Arne Slot? The Feyenoord manager in talks to replace Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool

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Liverpool are in talks with Feyenoord over appointing Arne Slot as the club’s next manager in the summer.

The Reds have been eyeing a replacement for Jurgen Klopp ever since the German made it known to executives in November that he would leave the club at the end of the current season.

Liverpool, currently in a three-way race for the Premier League title, were hit in their search when early favourite Xabi Alonso decided to stay at Bayer Leverkusen. Sporting Lisbon boss Ruben Amorim has also been linked with the job.

But Slot, who this season has won the Dutch Cup and won the Eredivisie last year, is now the favourite – yet who is the 45-year-old and what has he done to be a frontrunner for the Anfield vacancy?

Prior to his coaching journey, Slot enjoyed an 18-year playing career as a midfielder in the Netherlands, playing for seven years at FC Zwolle and five years at NAC Breda.

He was part of a promotion-winning side at the former from the second tier to the top-flight, while he finished fourth in the Eredivisie at Breda and played in the UEFA Cup against Newcastle United in 2003, losing 6-0 on aggregate.

Slot, known for his passing and vision, later had spells at Sparta Rotterdam and PEC Zwolle before retiring in 2013 at the age of 35.

But in the last 10 years, he has developed steadily as a coach. The Dutchman moved straight away onto the coaching staff at first division club PEC Zwolle, working as a youth coach for one year before moving on to be assistant at then-Eredivisie side Cambuur.

Arne Slot has enjoyed a successful coaching career so far (Getty Images)

He was a No 2 under three different head coaches before he took interim charge in October 2016, with the club 14th in the second division. However, he helped them to third in the league, missing out on promotion in the play-offs and a spot in the Dutch Cup final – having earlier beaten Ajax – on penalties in the semi-finals.

Despite his impressive first outing as a head coach, Slot moved to AZ Alkmaar to be assistant to John van den Brom. He stayed in his role for two seasons before he succeeded Van den Brom as head coach. He finished second behind Ajax on goal-difference but the Eredivisie was cancelled due to the Covid pandemic.

Slot was then sacked as AZ head coach in December 2020, having negotiated a deal to join rivals Feyenoord for the following season. The coach left with 2.11 points per game in the league, the highest of any coach in AZ history.

Slot has lost to Roma in three consecutive years in Europe (Getty Images)

But his time in Feyenoord has been an overwhelming success. He guided the team to the inaugural UEFA Conference League final in his first season, losing to Roma in the final, and third in the Eredivisie.

Having extended his contract in the summer of 2022, Slot guided Feyenoord to their 16th league title and first since 2017. They were, however, again knocked out of Europe by Roma, this time at the quarter-final stage of the Europa League.

Slot then reportedly turned down the Tottenham job last summer, penning a new deal to 2026, and embarked on another season with Feyenoord. His side won the Dutch Cup on Sunday, beating NEC in the final, and are currently second in the Eredivisie. Liverpool were keen to act respectfully and did not make any approach prior to the final.

Now, Slot looks set for a highly-anticipated move away from the Netherlands. He is said to be eager to join Liverpool, with compensation set to be around the £10m mark, and the release clause in his contract can’t be activated until next year.

Slot is known for his aggressive, dominant style of football and places a big emphasis on developing young players and improving senior stars at his disposal. He plays with a high defensive line and usually utilises a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 formation. Out of possession, his teams press high, making his philosophy not too far away from Klopp and the style he could inherit at Liverpool.

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