Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp dreamed of coaching Manchester United, claims mentor ahead of rivals clash
Jurgen Klopp has always wanted to coach in the Premier League, but the club he had always hoped to take over was not Liverpool but arch rivals Manchester United, according to the German's predecessor at Mainz and coaching mentor.
Eckhard Krautzun oversaw a young Klopp as he made the transition from player to coach, happily reminiscing about the times he sent the now-Reds boss on scouting trips to Africa and beyond.
But he also revealed in an interview with The Set Pieces that Klopp had eyes on Old Trafford rather than Anfield back when he was in Germany.
“It would be his dream to go to England one day and his favourite club would be [Manchester] United. That’s what he said,” said Krautzun, recalling a conversation he had once had with the Liverpool manager.
And Krautzun, who counts Sir Alex Ferguson among his most influential friends, ensured that the United boss knew of Klopp's ambitions.
“I said, ‘Jürgen Klopp, if he goes abroad, if he goes to England, his love would be Manchester United.’” Krautzun added, before revealing that Ferguson had been immensely impressed by Klopp after seeing his Dortmund side smash Bayern in the 2012 German Cup final.
"I think that’s where his love or respect for Jürgen Klopp grew tremendously."
Klopp has previously revealed that there were discussions with Ferguson about United's interest in hiring him but it came at the wrong time.
“We spoke,” the Liverpool manager said. “We spoke not a lot but, for me, it was a lot. It was a big honour, the whole talk, to be honest. There was a time [when United were interested] but I could not leave Dortmund. That is it. You are in April and you are in the middle of the planning for next season. You have this player and this player and this player who is coming in but then you are not there any more? That doesn’t work. Not in my life anyway.
“I did not hear about a real offer but, if there was, I could not have done it. I first had to finish the job with Dortmund and then think about other things. Maybe that is not the smart way but that is my way. Of course I was loyal to Dortmund.”