Feyenoord coach Arne Slot has emerged as a leading candidate to succeed Jurgen Klopp when he leaves as Liverpool manager at the end of the campaign.

Slot guided the Dutch club to their first title in six years last season and currently has them in second place in the Eredivisie table, having won the Dutch Cup at the weekend.

The PA news agency understands Liverpool consider Slot to fit all the criteria set out in their recruitment process, although they are still looking at other contenders.

Arne Slot
Feyenoord head coach Arne Slot has emerged as a leading contender to replace Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool (Martin Rickett/PA)

Michael Edwards, who recently returned to the fold as the chief executive of football for Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports Group, having previously been the club’s sporting director, and incoming sporting director Richard Hughes have been tasked with the unenviable task of finding Klopp’s replacement.

Having seen one leading candidate in former Reds midfielder Xabi Alonso commit himself to Bayer Leverkusen, whom he has just led to their first Bundesliga title, others such as Sporting Lisbon’s Ruben Amorim – now linked with West Ham – and Brighton’s Roberto De Zerbi have also been under consideration.

However, Slot appears to have moved up the pecking order significantly, but having only signed a new three-year contract last summer, the Eredivisie side will be keen to keep him.

But the 45-year-old Dutchman, who is understood to have previously turned down Tottenham and Chelsea, is also understood to be under consideration by Bayern Munich and Barcelona as they look to replace departing coaches Thomas Tuchel and Xavi respectively.

Xabi Alonso
Xabi Alonso has committed his future to Bayer Leverkusen (John Walton/PA).

Former Netherlands striker Marco van Basten believes Slot would fit in at any of Europe’s elite clubs.

“I think he’s really good. I hope he stays in the Netherlands longer because it is an enrichment for Dutch football,” he told Dutch TV channel Ziggo Sports.

“He can really go anywhere… Bayern Munich, Liverpool… I’m really convinced of that.

“I’ve spoken to him a few times and I think what he does and what he sees is very strong.

“He gets along very well with the group of players, is tactically well-versed, can explain things well and is calm and intelligent.

“I think he can go to any club, even at the very difficult clubs, because he is so intelligent.”

Former Netherlands midfielder Wim Jonk told the same channel: “He (Slot) gave Feyenoord a face. Arne has made enormous strides. Liverpool is also a bit like the Feyenoord of England.”