Liverpool Football Club have targeted Louis Van Gaal or Johan Cruyff as a replacement for Damien Comolli following this week’s sacking of the French man as director of football at Anfield.
Van Gaal comes with a stellar managerial CV having managed some of Europe’s biggest clubs including Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Ajax – leading the latter to the 1994-’95 UEFA Champions League title.
Johan Cruyff meanwhile is of course one of the most famous names in the history of world football. Cruyff is one of only five men to win the European Cup as both a player (three times) and manager and of course pioneered the famous ‘Cruyff turn’ at the 1974 World Cup.
Liverpool’s current owners; Fenway Sports Group (FSG) are looking for an immediate replacement for Comolli, who, according to official reports from Anfield left the club due to ‘family reasons’.
Many view the French man however as being the scapegoat for Liverpool’s poor season which has seen them slip to eighth place in the Premier League table. They look almost certain to finish the season no better than seventh in the table, which would be their worst Premier League finish since 2000 and their second worst Premier League finish ever.
Whilst Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish backed Comolli this week stating: “All signings made since Damien [Comolli] came here have been at my request and we had a great working as well as personal relationship.” Whilst the fact that all signings were made with the approval of Dalglish, it has been questioned in some quarters whether the fees paid for certain players have been over the odds – which could have helped speed up the French man’s demise at the club.
Meanwhile, Cruyff is currently working as the head coach of the Catalan national team, having left the board of Ajax following a bitter power struggle with Van Gaal.
Having spent his managerial career on the continent, it is as yet unknown whether 64 year-old Cruyff would be interested in a role with an English club, though he has a proven track record of improving youth development and bringing players up from within the club. His status might be hindered by the fact that he is employed elsewhere – though the Catalan national team only play a few fixtures per year.
Van Gaal on the other hand, would be available to take up employment immediately as he has been unemployed since being sacked from his position as Bayern manager this time last year. It is thought however that Liverpool want to attract as big a name as possible with Cruyff certainly fitting into that category.