Klopp always dreamed of United role, says mentor
JURGEN Klopp wanted to manage Manchester United before eventually being appointed Liverpool boss and was even recommended as Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor, according to mentor Eckhard Krautzun.
The former defender spent just 98 days under Krautzun’s watch at lowly Mainz before succeeding him as manager of the Second Division side in 2001.
Klopp guided relegationthreatened Mainz to the Bundesliga for the first time in their history three years later before later being snapped up by Borussia Dortmund.
After winning two Bundesliga titles, and leading Dortmund to the 2013 Champions League final, Klopp eventually took over at Anfield but it could have been very different, claims Krautzun.
“It would be his dream to go to England one day and his favourite club would be [Manchester] United. That’s what he said,” the 76-year-old told The Set Pieces .
Krautzun, who has had 35 spells in management in an incredibly nomadic career, met Sir Alex Ferguson on a FA coaching course back in the mid-70s at Bisham Abbey.
The pair got on so well that Ferguson invited the German to stay with him and the pair still watch games together all these years later.
And, after Ferguson was left impressed by Dortmund’s landmark German Cup win against Bayern Munich back in 2012, Krautzun suggested Klopp as the perfect successor.
“I think that’s where his love or respect for Jurgen Klopp grew tremendously,” he said.
“I said, ‘Jurgen Klopp, if he goes abroad, if he goes to England, his love would be Manchester United.’”
United instead appointed David Moyes, who was sacked after 10 months in charge after the champions failed to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 1995.