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New coach could stay on at Anfield even if Dalglish exits

Steve Clarke could remain at Liverpool as first-team coach beyond the end of the season even if the club's owners, Fenway Sports Group, do not ask Kenny Dalglish to become permanent manager.

The Scot, who made his name as Jose Mourinho's assistant at Chelsea, took part in his first training session at Liverpool's Melwood base yesterday just hours after his appointment and will work alongside assistant manager Sammy Lee for the remainder of the campaign.


Ian Ayre, Liverpool's commercial director, confirmed yesterday, though, that the club may offer the 47-year-old a permanent role. It is believed his future is not linked to whether Dalglish remains in place.

"Steve is with us until the end of the season and we are still discussing with him what that might mean long-term," said Ayre.

Dalglish himself insisted that Clarke's record of success -- most notably at Stamford Bridge, but also in his spells at Newcastle and West Ham -- made him a valuable addition to his staff, however long either remains at the club.

"It is important to have good back-room staff," said the Liverpool manager.

He added that, on the way back from the 1-0 defeat to Manchester United on Sunday, "Damien Comolli and I had a conversation about back-room staff and Steve's name came up. To be fair to Steve, he was phoned last night and this morning he was up for training. That just shows the lure of Liverpool.

"He was instrumental in the success of many clubs, and none more so than Mourinho's Chelsea. I think we have got a decent guy there."

Clarke's work under the Portuguese made him one of the most respected assistant managers in the country, with Chelsea's England contingent -- Joe Cole, now at Anfield, John Terry and Frank Lampard -- as well as Mourinho himself thought to have valued him highly as a confidante.

Despite his strong emotional ties to Stamford Bridge, Clarke admits the chance to join a "football great" such as Dalglish at "one of the world's leading clubs" was too good to dismiss after finding himself out of work after his departure, together with Gianfranco Zola, from West Ham.

"I am really looking forward to working with Kenny and the rest of the staff to bring good times back to the club," he said.

Should he remain at Liverpool beyond the end of the season, Clarke may find himself working alongside Jamie Carragher after Dalglish admitted the club may explore the possibility of handing the veteran defender a coaching post. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent