PARIS: Jurgen Klopp has turned down an offer from Marseille to take over the coaching role left vacant after Marcelo Bielsa shocked club and fans by quitting after 1-0 defeat by Caen on the opening weekend of the French season.
Klopp, 48, quit Borussia Dortmund at the end of last season expressing a need to take a break from the game to recharge his batteries.
The 48-year-old agent, Marc Kosickem said: “Marseille has expressed interest but for Jürgen this is not yet the right time to return.”
Bielsa – a visionary to admirers and a charlatan to critics – blamed his decision on the club’s attempt to rewrite his contract in discussions over an extension to 2017.
At a press conference after the Caen game Bielsa read out a letter which he had sent to president Vincent Labrune saying: “I have finished my work here, I will return to my country. The club . . . informed me they wanted to change the terms of the contract, I cannot accept such instability.”
Bielsa had handed the letter to the management shortly before kickoff. The press conference was the first his players had learned of Bielsa’s decision. He insisted that he would not be moving immediately to another club “even though I could triple my salary by doing so.”
His exit followed a meeting on Wednesday evening with the ceo and lawyer representing club owner Margarita Louis-Dreyfus. Bielsa, former Argentina, Bilbao and Newell’s coach, joined Marseille last summer and took them to an ultimately disappointing fourth place in his first, tempestuous season.