Jurgen Klopp Says He Had Talks to Succeed Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 15, 2016

Liverpool's manager Jurgen Klopp awaits the start of the English Premier League soccer match between Sunderland and Liverpool at the Stadium of Light, Sunderland, England, Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2015. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)
Scott Heppell/Associated Press

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp admitted Friday there were talks in 2013 about his potentially taking over at Manchester United after the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.

Dominic King of the Daily Mail passed along comments from the Reds boss ahead of Sunday's high-profile clash with United. He confirmed the conversations took place while he was with Borussia Dortmund, but the idea never felt right to him:

We spoke. We spoke not a lot but, for me, it was a lot. It was a big honour, the whole talk, to be honest. But I could not leave Dortmund.

You are in April and you are in the middle of the planning for next season. You have this player and this player who are coming but then you are not there anymore? That doesn't work. Not in my life.

Klopp also stated he wasn't sure if United ever put an offer on the table at the time. Even if they did, he said he wouldn't have been able to walk away from unfinished business with the German club.

King noted the conversations arose from a recent BBC documentary in which Ferguson discussed the various managers in the spotlight at the time. The group included Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti, who went to Chelsea and Real Madrid, respectively, as well as Klopp.

The 48-year-old German manager praised Ferguson, who he called "the John Lennon of football," but wouldn't discuss whether their conversations included a direct offer to become the successor, according to King.

Ultimately, Manchester United settled on then-Everton boss David Moyes to take the reins of one of the world's most famous clubs. He never seemed to find his comfort zone, however, and the club let him go after less than a year in charge.

Klopp ended up staying with Dortmund through the end of the 2014-15 campaign. After taking a short break, he took the Liverpool gig when the club decided to move on from Brendan Rodgers and now faces the task of revitalizing the storied club.

Given the lack of consistent success since Ferguson decided to call it quits, United fans will wonder whether the transition could have been smoother if Klopp had filled the massive void instead.