Liverpool assistant manager Zeljko Buvac will not return to the dugout for the Champions League final, according to a reliable journalist.
James Pearce, who reports for the Liverpool Echo, claimed in a Q&A on Monday that Jurgen Klopp’s right-hand man was not set to return for the European showpiece, contrary to reports elsewhere, in a massive blow for the German mastermind.
He said: “I’m sure the full story will emerge at some stage. Liverpool maintain that he’s just away for the rest of the season due to personal reasons. There were rumours last week that Buvac would be back for the Champions League final but I’m told that’s not the case.”
The club announced that the Bosnian was to take some leave away from his role for personal reasons a few weeks ago, with rumours swirling that a rift had developed between him and Klopp.
Liverpool fans got understandably excited by reports that suggested Buvac would return for the Champions League final, with their chances of winning surely increased if Klopp’s favourite assistant was present. That however does not look to be the case, and the German will have to do without the ‘brains’ of the operation if he is to guide the Reds to their first Champions League trophy since 2005. Buvac’s loss has been a big blow for Liverpool, but the club bounced back to secure their top-four spot on the final day ahead of the clash with Real Madrid in two weeks time. Aside from Buvac, the club have some other big-name absentees from the playing squad for the match, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Joel Matip, Emre Can and Joe Gomez all out injured. Klopp still has a strong selection of players to choose from, but their task has most definitely been made harder by the number of injured stars.