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30th Apr 2018

Klopp’s assistant Buvac steps aside from Liverpool until the end of the season due to ‘personal reasons’

Melissa Reddy

“Zeljko remains a Liverpool employee and his position at the club is not effected by this absence.”

Liverpool have confirmed that Jurgen Klopp’s long-time assistant Zeljko Buvac will not be involved in the first-team environment until the end of the season.

The 56-year-old, whose relationship with the Reds boss spans nearly three decades and stretches back to their playing days at Mainz, has taken a leave of absence due to “personal reasons” according to the club.

Reports of a rift between Klopp and Buvac have circulated ahead of the second-leg Champions League semi-final at Roma, stating the Bosnian Serb has tended his resignation, but Liverpool’s position is that he “remains an employee” and his absence will not affect that.

“Zeljko is spending some time away from the first team environment, between now and the end of the season, for personal reasons,” the Merseysiders explained.

“The club considers the matter to be private and therefore will respect that privacy by not making any further comment.

“Zeljko remains a Liverpool employee and his position at the club is not effected by this absence.”

Buvac and Klopp first linked up in the technical area when the German took charge at Mainz in 2001. During a seven-year spell, they secured promotion to the Bundesliga as well as participation in the UEFA Cup.

The pair moved to Dortmund together in 2008, and over the same length of time, won two league titles, a DFB Pokal, the DFL-Supercup twice as well as reached the 2013 Champions League final.

Buvac joined Klopp at Liverpool in October 2015, signing a fresh six-year deal at the club the following July with the rest of the coaching staff.

Often referred to as ‘The Brain,” the Reds boss has also described his friend as “the best coach I’ve ever met, he is unbelievable, like a football book!”