Jurgen Klopp expects to have to embark on a rebuilding process at Liverpool after extending his contract to 2024.
Klopp signed a contract renewal last week ahead of attempting to lead the Reds to Club World Cup glory in Qatar.
Saturday’s final against Flamengo offers Liverpool the chance to secure the first of a possible five trophies this season, with Klopp’s side – who won the UEFA Super Cup in August – 10 points clear in the Premier League and through to the last 16 of the Champions League, where they will face Atletico Madrid.
Liverpool do not have an old squad – Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana and James Milner are their only regulars aged 30 or over – but Klopp feels freshening up his options will be vital in the years to come.
The signing of 24-year-old Salzburg forward Takumi Minamino ahead of the January transfer window indicated Liverpool will not be standing still in the market despite their strong position, and Klopp thinks it is only right he committed to that longer-term plan.
“We will see what we can achieve together in that time, but there will probably be a moment where we have to change things,” Klopp told ESPN.
“Improve always, but to change things as well and I really thought it makes sense that I do that instead of another manager coming in and having to do this kind of not really thankful job and like rebuild or whatever and then say, ‘oh but Klopp would have done different’, stuff like this.
“This club became so important to me in a really short time. It’s unbelievable, so I feel absolute responsible for probably too much, but nearly everything.
“That’s what we try to show with that [contract] extension. We are ready to win whatever we can, but to make sure because there is always a time after me, after another manager, that the club is in the best possible position to carry on in the best possible way.
“At this moment, everyone in the club believes that we need the consolation of the relationship we have with each other, but that it really works out in the future as well. That’s important.
“It’s not reshaping, but Taki [Minamino] is for sure a player who can help us immediately in the short term and the long term, from an age perspective.
“He’s already really good. Everyone could see when we played Salzburg. But still [there is] potential there to become even better.
“It’s not a competition, it’s just to have different options in different moments and the door is wide open that Taki can come in the team.”
Liverpool exited the EFL Cup at the quarter-final stage this week, an inexperienced Reds side suffering a 5-0 defeat at Aston Villa with Klopp having taken his first-team squad to Qatar for the Club World Cup semi-final, which was played less than 24 hours later.
Having been irked by the fixture congestion, Klopp is also frustrated at the potential of an FA Cup fourth-round replay interrupting the Premier League’s inaugural mid-season break, which is set for February.
“The problem that we have is the Premier League have decided we have a winter break and the [Football Association] decided the re-game [replay] if you have to play, if you draw in the fourth round, you play the re-game in that week,” Klopp said.
“It’s incredible. It’s just in the winter break. Right? That’s when they set the game. Okay, how is that possible? Nobody speaks about these things. I really don’t understand that.
“The problem we have now is nobody speaks enough. We don’t speak enough to each other so the Premier League, the Football League, the FA, UEFA, FIFA, everyone is planning their own things, and nobody follows that, so there is no common schedule for everybody.
“Look at that. They are the games, we can’t do more games.”