Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp dreamed of managing Manchester United while at Borussia Dortmund, the German’s coaching mentor has revealed.
Eckhard Krautzun, who was Klopp’s predecessor at Mainz, told The Set Pieces of the Liverpool manager’s desire to coach Man United before he moved to Anfield in 2015.
Sir Alex Ferguson chose his own replacement in 2013 in David Moyes, but was an admirer of Klopp. Krautzun revealed that stemmed from Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund thrashing Bayern Munich 5-2 in the 2012 German Cup Final.
“It would be his dream to go to England one day and his favourite club would be United. That’s what [Klopp] said,” Krautzun told Archie Rhind-Tutt of The Set Pieces.
“I said [to Sir Alex], ‘Jurgen Klopp, if he goes abroad, if he goes to England, his love would be Manchester United.’
“I think that [German Cup final] is where his love or respect for Jurgen Klopp grew tremendously.”
However, David Moyes was chosen by Ferguson after his retirement in 2013. The Scot failed, and was sacked nine months into his tenure at Old Trafford, replaced by then-Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal.
Once Klopp had left Dortmund and became available, van Gaal had had a successful first season at United, guiding the Reds to 4th in the Premier League.
When van Gaal left, Jose Mourinho was available after his departure from Chelsea and Klopp was well into his time at Anfield.
“After three or four months not working, I knew that he wanted to be in action again,” Krautzun said.
“When the offer came from Liverpool [that October], I knew he would not hesitate because he wanted to get into a top club in England.”
Many United fans looked on jealously at Klopp’s arrival at Anfield during a difficult time in van Gaal’s second season at the club.
However, things have worked out better for United than Liverpool. Klopp has created a better side but is yet to win a single piece of silverware, whereas van Gaal won the FA Cup and Mourinho saw the Reds win the EFL Cup and UEFA Europa League in his first season.
Now, United are second in the league on goal difference, Liverpool are behind.
The two sides face off on Saturday at Anfield, and Klopp is now certainly the opposition. United fans will look on happily that they have Mourinho and not Klopp this weekend.