Klopp turned down Manchester United in 2013, says Ferguson's friend
Maybe David Moyes wasn’t “the Chosen One.”
A fresh account of Manchester United’s hiring process when choosing Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor in 2013 claims Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was sounded out for the illustrious role, but pledged his loyalty to Borussia Dortmund.
Encouraged by Klopp guiding Der BVB to back-to-back Bundesliga titles in 2011 and 2012, and the advice of veteran coach Eckhard Krautzun, Ferguson identified the German as having the charisma and style of play required for the United job.
Krautzun told Archie Rhind-Tutt of The Set Pieces of his friendship with Ferguson after meeting him at a coaching seminar in the 1970s, and shared how they attended a match together – Dortmund’s 2012 DFB-Pokal final defeat to Bayern Munich – that left the then-United boss impressed with Klopp’s tactical approach.
However, in 2013 the chance to test his talents against Pep Guardiola, who had taken over at Bayern Munich that summer, was too good to refuse, so Klopp rejected United’s interest. Krautzun, the former manager and predecessor of Klopp at Mainz, insists his former charge’s preference was still to eventually manage Manchester United, but Louis van Gaal was at the helm when he left Dortmund in 2015.
Klopp then took the reins from Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool in October 2015, and Krautzun believes moving to Merseyside was a good choice for Klopp.
(Photo courtesy: Action Images)
“The emotions in the stadium in Liverpool and the enthusiasm of the fans, the temperament there – that fits Klopp. I was not surprised that the spectators liked him right away. His emotions, the way he coaches the team, the way he jumps around, the way he shows his desire to win, that fits the club,” Krautzun said.
“The fans are little more different to Man U. Man U is more quiet, the fans love their team too but there is more emotion and more passion I think in Liverpool. And Kloppo I think is a passionate, very temperamental man. That club fits him.”
The Telegraph’s Jason Burt understands that Klopp wasn’t the only manager Manchester United considered as Ferguson’s replacement. The credentials of Klopp, Guardiola, Carlo Ancelotti, and Jose Mourinho were all under discussion in the guts of Old Trafford.
Mourinho eventually assumed control of Manchester United in 2016 following the largely unimpressive spells of Moyes and Van Gaal, and will be overseeing Saturday’s crunch match against Klopp’s Liverpool at Anfield.