Liverpool consider Rene Meulensteen as an assistant to Brendan Rodgers
Liverpool will consider Rene Meulensteen and Pako Ayestaran as potential assistants to Brendan Rodgers with the club ready to focus on rebuilding the Anfield coaching staff following the capture of Burnley forward Danny Ings.
Ings, 22, will become a Liverpool player on July 1 after agreeing to move to the club when his Turf Moor contract expires at the end of June.
The former Bournemouth youngster becomes Liverpool’s second signing of the summer, following James Milner’s free transfer from Manchester City, and will bolster the club’s strike-force alongside Belgian forward Divock Origi, who will complete his move from Lille this summer.
With Burnley rejecting an initial £4.5m compensation offer from Liverpool for Ings, the two clubs are expected to continue to negotiate a settlement figure for the player to prevent the deal going to a tribunal later this summer.
"Burnley Football Club has rejected an offer made by Liverpool but will continue to have dialogue with the club in order to reach a resolution over the fee," said a Burnley statement.
With Ings following Milner as an early new recruit at Anfield, Rodgers and the club’s American owners, Fenway Sports Group (FSG), are now aiming to bolster the manager’s backroom team in the wake of Colin Pascoe and Mike Marsh being dispensed with last week.
Rodgers agreed to the dismissal of his long-serving assistant Pascoe and first-team coach Marsh during an end-of-season performance review with FSG, which resulted in the Northern Irishman accepting the need to recruit a proven top-level coach following the team’s disappointing sixth-placed finish last season.
While the backroom changes appear to have left Rodgers isolated and with his position weakened, Liverpool have maintained that the decision was mutually agreed by FSG and Rodgers.
Ayestaran, who worked as Rafael Benitez’s assistant during the first three years of the Spaniard’s reign as manager between 2004 and 2010 before taking similar roles at Benfica and Valencia, is understood to be keen to return to Liverpool after recently guiding Maccabi Tel Aviv to a domestic treble in Israel.
A move for Meulensteen would prove controversial, however, with the former Manchester United first-team coach criticising Rodgers last November by claiming that his ‘biggest failure is that he's not invested in his staff.’
Meulensteen, who is currently working as a consultant with MLS outfit Philadelphia Union, has worked unsuccessfully as a manager with Anzhi Makhachkala and Fulham since leaving United in the summer of 2013.
Former Liverpool captain Sami Hyypia, who managed Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League before a six-month reign as Brighton manager last season, is another candidate.