Liverpool assistant manager Zeljko Buvac will not be returning for the Reds' Champions League final clash against Real Madrid, according to Liverpool Echo journalist James Pearce.
Jurgen Klopp's assistant departed Anfield only days before their Champions League semi-final second-leg against Roma. Subsequent reports claimed that Buvac left after falling out with Klopp, but Liverpool have since denied those reports and stated that the Bosnian Serb - who has also been linked with the soon-to-be vacant Arsenal manager's job - has taken a temporary leave of absence due to personal reasons.
Recent rumours suggested the coach known as 'the Brain' could be set for a return ahead of Liverpool's Champions League final, which is due to take place on May 26, but Pearce has quashed those rumours in a Q&A with the Echo.
Pearce wrote: “I’m sure the full story will emerge at some stage. Liverpool maintain that he’s just away for the rest of the season due to personal reasons. There were rumours last week that Buvac would be back for the Champions League final but I’m told that’s not the case.”
Since Buvac departed Anfield, the Reds have lost two out of three fixtures, but Klopp has sought to quell fears that his absence may have an adverse impact in the final.
“Is there more responsibility or stress? No, absolutely not. I am not on my own, I have still a lot of people around me, Peter Krawietz and Andreas Kornmayer’s team. So I am not alone. Nobody needs to worry about that,” Klopp insisted, as quoted by the Liverpool Echo.
The Merseyside club will be looking to clinch their sixth Champions League trophy when they come up against 13-time winners Real Madrid, who'll be looking to win the competition for an unprecedented third time in a row.