Zeljko Buvac’s decision to step back from his role at Liverpool is not due to any specific falling out with manager Jurgen Klopp.
Klopp will have to finish the season without the Bosnian and the man dubbed the “brains of his coaching staff” after Liverpool confirmed on Monday that he would be “leaving for personal reasons”.
The two have worked together for 17 years and news of his departure emerged on Sunday when it was claimed the 56-year-old had fallen out with his long-term friend and colleague, Klopp.
The timing of the exit could not be worse with Liverpool due to face Roma in their Champions League semi-final second leg on Wednesday, with the incident threatening to overshadow the build-up to Liverpool’s biggest match in a number of years.
However, The Times’ Paul Joyce appears to have the inside track on Buvac’s exit; a situation he describes as “extraordinary”.
Joyce reports that Buvac ‘appears to be on the verge of leaving the club’, despite Liverpool themselves insisting he is still their employee.
The report adds that Buvac ‘has become increasingly distant and withdrawn around the club’, and has been less vocal during matches.
Joyce, however, is adamant that while there is no particular disagreement between the duo, he does confirm their professional relationship “has broken down somewhat”.
Klopp would often call on Buvac’s wisdom in helping to make substitutions to help impact a game in Liverpool’s favour, while the Bosnian would also be partially responsible for helping the Reds win their ‘tactical battles’ in some of the club’s bigger games.
However, Klopp must now do without his long-term partner for a critical phase in Liverpool’s season, with our readers suggesting his absence could present a surprise chance for Steven Gerrard to earn a promotion alongside the German.