Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp was forced to deny claims he was set to leave the Bundesliga club.
After a 2-2 draw at home to Wolfsburg on Wednesday, Klopp was quoted as saying he would miss the Dortmund fans when he leaves – leading to strong murmurs he was set to end his stint at Signal-Iduna-Park, which began in 2008.
Klopp clarified his comments, ahead of their trip to bottom-placed Werder Bremen – who could dump Dortmund into the automatic relegation spots with a victory on Saturday.
“I thought I’ve made it quite clear. I’ve said ‘anytime’. And I probably said it a few times already. But nothing is the same in a situation like this,” said Klopp, on the timing of his departure.
“I don’t know if I startled so many people with this sentence. No it’s nothing to do with implying or preparing to retire. I just wanted to say what I said.
“That there will be a time where I definitely will not be coach of Dortmund anymore and hopefully, at that time, I’ll be in good health.
“Then I’ll have that chance to miss things because I remember what was nice and cool in the past. And then I’ll miss this stadium, absolutely.
“But I’m not sick. Not yet.”
Klopp also revealed he has began to mould Ciro Immobile to become a number nine for Dortmund, and avoid being drawn up the field.
“A few weeks ago we started to change Ciro’s style of play that he knew from his old club Torino,” Klopp said.
“The Italian football has huge quality but is completely different from the football played in the Bundesliga.
“Many teams retreat very fast and when [a] striker falls back into the midfield he often has a lot of room. This means you can get confidence there.
“If you fall back into the midfield in the Bundesliga and you start to dribble there you probably get pressed from the opponent.
“But Immobile got so used to these paths [from Italy] we had to work on that because we don’t need them [midfielders], we got enough players in this part of the pitch.
“We need the player in the centre, someone to whom you can pass the ball to, we need someone to make the paths behind the last line, also on the wings.”
Klopp said Immobile’s performance against Wolfsburg in mid-week vindicated his work with the 24-year-old Italy international.
“Yesterday [Wednesday] it was beautiful to see how strong Ciro can be, not just because of his paths,” the coach said.
“We benefited from that, he benefited from that and therefore it’s a really positive story.”
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