Jürgen Klopp’s long-time assistant Pep Lijnders hired by Salzburg on 3-year contract

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SALZBURG, Austria (AP) — Jürgen Klopp’s long-time assistant Pep Lijnders will coach Austria’s biggest club Salzburg next season as their era at Liverpool comes to an end.

Salzburg said Wednesday it hired the 41-year-old Lijnders on a 3-year contract.

It means Lijnders should take Salzburg to the revamped Club World Cup in June 2025 which Liverpool will miss.

Salzburg is among 12 European teams in the 32-team tournament lineup in the United States next year. Though Liverpool is ranked higher than Salzburg based on recent Champions League results, Klopp’s team did not qualify by that route because England’s quota of two places was taken by recent title winners Chelsea and Manchester City.

Lijnders worked at Liverpool under Klopp’s predecessor, Brendan Rodgers, but stayed on when the inspirational German coach joined in 2015. He had a brief spell away in 2018 to coach NEC in his native Netherlands.

Lijnders could take over a Salzburg team in the rare position of not being Austrian champion. Sturm Graz will end Salzburg’s 10-year run of titles on Sunday if it wins a season-ending game at home to Klagenfurt.

Salzburg’s title-winning coaches in the past decade of being funded by drinks giant Red Bull have included Roger Schmidt, Marco Rose and Jesse Marsch, the United States coach hired Monday to lead the Canada national team to the 2026 World Cup as co-host.

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AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

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