In an updated edition of his text, Klopp: Bring the Noise, esteemed German journalist Raphael Honigstein has offered new knowledge on what really happened between Željko Buvač and Jürgen Klopp.
Formerly thick as thieves, after developing a robust working relationship at Mainz, Borussia Dortmund, and finally at Anfield, the two fractiously ended a 17-year association in the spring of 2018.
“The Liverpool [staff] had noticed that the notoriously wordless [Buvac] had switched from monosyllables to zero-syllables in recent months,” Honigstein claimed, via SPOX.
“Buvac looked as if he would not have been happy with the increasing influence of fourth assistant coach Pepijn Lijnders.
“The laid-back Dutchman had been very popular with the players.
“The relationship between Buvac and Klopp has survived, both just could not work together anymore.”
In January 2019, Buvač officially departed the club after agreeing a contract settlement by which time Pep Lijnders was already at the Reds.
The Dutchman was soon after confirmed as Klopp’s new assistant manager and has since risen in standing and garnered increased exposure.
According to the SPOX article quoted above, it seems Buvač grew envious of this fact and saw the rising star of Lijnders as a threat to his own influence with Klopp and with the rest of the backroom staff.
The rest, however, is history. Any fears that Buvač leaving would be detrimental to Klopp’s managerial efficacy, or indeed, the Reds playing style, have been dispelled by what has been a record-breaking 2018/19 season ending in a sixth European Cup.