Jurgen Klopp’s agent has insisted contact from Liverpool was only made following the dismissal of Brendan Rodgers, despite Reds chairman Tom Werner’s admission that they had admired the German for “a long time”.
Rodgers was sacked last Sunday after the 1-1 Merseyside draw at Everton, with Klopp named as his replacement four days later.
Despite the short timeframe, Klopp’s representative Marc Kosicke is adamant Liverpool – and owners Fenway Sports Group – did not go behind Rodgers’ back.
Kosicke told Bild: “The first call from Liverpool came after the dismissal as coach of Rodgers.
“Before Liverpool there were naturally quite a few inquiries. But Jurgen always asked me not to take it any further.”
Klopp enjoyed a hugely successful seven years at Dortmund, during which he won two Bundesliga titles and the DFB-Pokal.
That record – and his charismatic persona – apparently meant he was always on Werner’s radar. And although he refused to confirm Kosicke’s version of events, Werner conceded he was a huge admirer of the 48-year-old.
“We have learned to keep certain matters confidential,” Werner told several UK national newspapers.
“We had a meeting recently with Jurgen that he has talked about and I don’t want to talk too much about these conversations.
“But we have thought about him for a long time and everyone who knows football knows he is an outstanding manager.”
Werner is optimistic Klopp will revitalise a Liverpool squad that narrowly missed out on the Premier League title in 2014.
“We all expect the players to respond to him,” he added.
“Obviously, he motivates players and when we spoke to him we saw there was a great connection between his vision and what we want to do moving forward.
“It is very attractive football, attacking football. He has said that he doesn’t want to put too much expectation on the near future, but we all expect the players are going to respond to him.”