Saturday 16 January 2016 13:14, UK
Jurgen Klopp has revealed he was approached by Sir Alex Ferguson over succeeding him as Manchester United manager, but turned down the role as the timing was wrong.
The German, who replaced Brendan Rodgers as Liverpool manager in October, was approached by Ferguson in April 2013 as the Scot moved towards the end of his 27-year reign at Old Trafford.
However, Klopp was unwilling to consider a move to England as he was already planning for the 2013-14 campaign with Borussia Dortmund and United subsequently appointed David Moyes as Ferguson's successor.
"We spoke," Klopp said. "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.
"I didn't hear about a real offer [from United] but, if there was, I could not have done it. I first had to finish the job with Dortmund and then think about other things.
"Maybe that is not smart but that is my way. It was the same at Mainz."
Klopp is a big fan of Ferguson and even compared him to one of Liverpool's favourite sons, John Lennon, at his media conference ahead of facing United at Anfield on Super Sunday - live on Sky Sports 1 HD from 1pm.
"It's a big honour to talk to Sir Alex,' he said. "For a manager it's nearly the best thing you can do, to sit there and listen.
"Maybe he is the greatest ever - the John Lennon of football. From my side there is a big amount of respect. What he did is not easy for another manager to do."