Virgil van Dijk has already raved about assistant Arne Slot could bring with him to Liverpool

(Photo by ANP via Getty Images)
Arne Slot is reportedly keen on appointing Sipke Hulshoff as his No.2 if he moves to Liverpool -Credit:(Photo by ANP via Getty Images)

Liverpool appears to have finally identified its top target to replace Jürgen Klopp as manager. A host of names have been linked with the Anfield post, most notably Xabi Alonso and Rúben Amorim, but there had been no significant progress with any candidates.

Feyenoord boss Arne Slot has now emerged as the leading candidate though and BBC Sport reports that Liverpool is now set to open talks with the Eredivisie side about appointing the 45-year-old.

Slot led Feyenoord to the title last season and was linked with the Tottenham job before ruling himself out of contention. He made clear his desire to manage in the Premier League though and appears close to be getting his wish.

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Should Slot take over from Klopp, he will need to appoint his own backroom team. Shortly after Klopp announced his exit plans, Liverpool confirmed assistant Pep Lijnders, as well as coaches Vitor Matos and Peter Krawietz, would also be leaving the club.

According to Daily Mail journalist Dominic King, Slot would look to bring his No.2 Sipke Hulshoff with him. The pair previously worked together at SC Cambuur before reuniting at Feyenoord and have a close relationship.

Hulshoff, was also appointed assistant to Ronald Koeman with the Dutch national side in 2023, working with Liverpool players Virgil van Dijk, Cody Gakpo and Ryan Gravenberch. Ex-Everton boss Koeman branded his No.2 an 'innovative trainer' as he helped secure a place at this summer's European Championships.

Speaking last year, Reds skipper Van Dijk also sung the praises of Hulshoff after being impressed with his early training sessions. He told "I didn't know Sipke before this. You have to get to know each other.

"You see what his qualities are and I personally certainly like that. Hopefully he can continue that well. He is very clear and tactically strong. I like the moments when he leads a training session. I think I also speak for the group."

Hulshoff's contract with the Dutch FA (KNVB) expires after the Euros in Germany this summer, and it remains to be seen if he would stay on, if he does join Slot at Liverpool. says: Slot is now the clear frontrunner to take over at Liverpool after months of speculation over who will replace Klopp. It is likely he would be joined by long-term ally Hulshoff at Anfield and his relationships with Liverpool's Dutch contingent will be important. It is going to be a very exciting summer.