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Klopp says Rangnick friendship 'on hold' but respect remains as Liverpool face Manchester United

1:51 PM GMT 18/04/2022
Jurgen Klopp Liverpool 2021-22
The Reds boss is now a direct Premier League rival of his fellow German, with their paths about to cross at Anfield

Jurgen Klopp admits his friendship with Ralf Rangnick has been put “on hold” while they are Premier League rivals at Liverpool and Manchester United, but the German points out he still holds his fellow countryman in the highest regard.

The long-running rivalry between the two clubs is set to be rekindled at Anfield on Tuesday, which will pitch Klopp into direct competition with Rangnick, a man he has always looked up to.

Respect between the pair will remain regardless of who emerges victorious when fighting the corner of their current employers.

Are Klopp and Rangnick friends?

Klopp and Rangnick have locked horns in the past when competing for Bundesliga points, but both now have plenty to play for in England.

Man Utd are competing for a top-four finish, while Liverpool are very much in the title hunt as they sit just one point behind table-topping Manchester City with seven games left.

With so much at stake, Klopp has said of his friendship with Rangnick: “On hold. We didn’t have contact since he was in England, that is mutual respect, I respect his job, he respects mine.

“I cannot make it Klopp-Rangnick or Rangnick-Klopp. He took a difficult job, no time to get there. You can see the changes he made, the parts he improved and that is it.

“When we now we prepare the United game I didn’t think about Ralf in that moment. You watch the teams, very important football game, but the managers probably will not score the decisive goals.”

Klopp on Rangnick’s job at Man Utd

Rangnick was thrown in at the deep end by United following their decision to part with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November 2021.

He has struggled at times to get the Red Devils firing on all cylinders, with Liverpool among those setting the standard, but Klopp is reluctant to assess the efforts of Rangnick.

He said when asked about the changes made by Rangnick at Old Trafford: “Nothing I want to talk about.

“I think Ralf tried to organise the team and give a structure and that that is what he did. United played some really good games but because it is United even when you win, people say that is not there.

“They concede less goals for sure and drop some points, if you put them on the points tally then all of a sudden they are fourth in the table and if you are fourth in the Premier League you are a quality side.

“Tottenham, the quality there is incredible, Chelsea is so strong. United is in that groove a lot and it says a lot about the quality they have.”

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