Jurgen Klopp claims he turned down the chance to succeed David Moyes as Manchester United manager before taking the reins at Liverpool.
Klopp replaced Brendan Rodgers in the Anfield dugout in October 2015, four months on from stepping down at Borussia Dortmund.
The 50-year-old’s celebrated tenure at Signal Iduna Park featured back-to-back Bundesliga titles and saw him become one of the most sought-after coaches in European football.
In an interview with former Liverpool player Phil Thompson on Sky Sports, Klopp said he was approached to become United boss before they appointed Louis van Gaal for the 2014-15 season.
“Yes, there was interest – Manchester United, yes, they were interested a year or a year and a half before, but it didn’t feel right,” he said.
“I couldn’t say Man United is not my club, it didn’t feel right.”
Klopp explained his intention to take a sabbatical from football after an underwhelming final season at Dortmund, only for the football romantic in him to heed Liverpool’s call.
“Yes, I’m a football romantic,” he said. “I’m confident but not as confident as other managers, thinking this club will call, that club will call.
“A lot of clubs called and I said ‘No, no chance, I need to make a break now’. Even my wife knew, if Liverpool is calling, I go.
“When Liverpool called, I had no chance. It was actually too early for my plans. I said, ‘Wow, come on!’
“But then coming here and feeling the spirit immediately, it was just, for me, a match in heaven.”
Liverpool are on a 17-match unbeaten run in all competitions and host undefeated Premier League leaders Manchester City in a mouth-watering Premier League clash on Sunday.
Klopp’s men were beaten 5-0 at the Etihad Stadium in September, but were only 1-0 down and causing Pep Guardiola’s side plenty of problems before Sadio Mane was sent off for catching City goalkeeper Ederson with a high boot.
That incident and the subsequent result had a shaping influence on both team’s seasons, according to Klopp, whose side are fourth and 18 points behind City.
“When I think about the game on Sunday, I cannot forget the first we played against them,” he added. “It changed the season for City in a positive way and gave us a little knock for a few days and weeks.
“That was unlucky, it was an open game. Nobody cares about that anymore but it’s the truth. We got a red card, which was the worst place in world football to be one down – wow! No chance that day.”