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Monday 15 October 2018

Klopp: 'United job was never on my radar'

Liverpool boss laughs off old boss' comments ahead of showdown

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is hoping to silence Anfield once again today
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is hoping to silence Anfield once again today
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has laughed off suggestions he always wanted to manage Manchester United

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has laughed off suggestions it was his dream to take charge of Manchester United.

The two arch-rivals go head-to-head at Anfield today and Klopp's former boss at Mainz Eckhard Krautzun this week claimed when he played under him the German's ambition had been to move to Old Trafford.

However, Klopp dismissed the idea that had things turned out differently he would be in the opposition dug-out today.

"I heard about an interview with my former manager," he said.

"I really like Eckhard Krautzun but when I think too far in the past I am not 100 per cent sure what is right or wrong but it is still funny. I am sure he thinks it was like this.

"How could I, as a very average player at Mainz, say to my manager, 'By the way, if I become a manager I would love to manage Manchester United'.

"Maybe people think I am a little bit crazy but I am not that crazy. I never thought about something like this.

"He (Eckhard) was a big admirer, and is still, of Sir Alex Ferguson. In our first meeting he was wearing a jumper of Manchester United when he came in as a new coach. Maybe he forgot.

Funny

"There are a few funny stories, unfortunately a few things are not exact but still funny.

"I had fun when I read it but not all of it is exactly like this."

A disappointing September, which saw Liverpool win just once and exit the League Cup, increased the scrutiny on Klopp.

There is no pressure coming from owners Fenway Sports Group, however, and the manager - who celebrated his two-year anniversary last weekend - defiantly insisted there was no-one better qualified to do the job any way.

"Is it a difficult job? Yes. Are we where we could be? Not sure. Did we do really well last year? Yes. Did we do better this year? Yes, but we didn't get the results so far," he added.

"Does that mean I should stop? No. We had to improve to be in the situation we are in now.

"There is not the biggest difference to the top teams at the moment even when it looks a little bit different with the points.

"Unfortunately, if they (FSG) sacked me now, there would not be a lot of managers who would do the job better than I do.

"I don't think I am perfect, but it is quite difficult to find better options on this.

"I still think as long as 98 per cent of all Liverpudlians are behind us, then we are on the right way and we will succeed," he added.

Meanwhile, United boss Jose Mourinho has been studying Klopp's men closely in recent weeks - "I know what they are, I know what they are" - but was unwilling to say there was more pressure on Liverpool than United.

The hosts' build-up has been thrown off kilter by an injury to star turn Sadio Mane sustained during the international break - a period that saw Marouane Fellaini suffer a knee complaint with Belgium.

Already qualified for the World Cup, Mourinho hinted before the international break that he hoped Roberto Martinez would use him loosely.

"I was surprised (that Fellaini played), yes I was," the United boss said. "No, not angry.

"I know that I cannot control what happens in the national teams, so I cannot be angry."

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