Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has explained how he got on the phone to Jurgen Klopp after our Champions League Final defeat to Real Madrid and tried to prise him back to Germany.
Klopp left Dortmund in 2015 after seven years in charge, but he exited with the love of the fans, despite a dodgy final season.
He did the same with Mainz, and is one of the few managers who has enhanced his reputation at every club he’s managed.
Klopp has recalled how the phone-call he received in the summer of 2018 and his polite, but firm, response…
“At some point my phone rang while I was on the plane and Aki was on it: ‘Jurgen, you have to come back’,” Klopp began, cited in Goal.
“I laughed, I thought he was kidding.
“‘Are you stupid, have you been drinking? How do you get that idea, I have a few more years in Liverpool’.
“I do not know how serious he was at that moment, but I realised that he wanted me to be more willing to respond.”
Watzke’s version of events supports this story, and in fairness, we can’t blame him for making the attempt.
Klopp is the greatest manager in Dortmund’s history and we’d expect Liverpool to do the same in a similar position.
“I knew that Jurgen would say no and that he would fulfil his contract in Liverpool,” Watzke explained.
“But if you want to go in a new direction, and we had to hit a new path at BVB at that point, then I had to at least ask Jurgen if it was a possibility.
“I did not expect it at all, but I would never have forgiven myself had I not at least asked him at that moment.”
Klopp currently has three years left on his Anfield contract, but as of yet has shown no signs of renewing, despite the club wanting to tie him down for plenty more!
Still, that’s a lot of time to etch his name deeper into Liverpool history.
A Premier League title will do very, very nicely – to go on top of the Champions League he’s already collected.