‘I knew he would decline’ – Dortmund chief on attempt to prise Klopp back last year, full of praise for Liverpool boss

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After a wonderful spell at Borussia Dortmund previously, Jurgen Klopp was asked to return to the club in 2018, CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has revealed. 

The 52-year-old took charge at Anfield in 2015, and after a steady improvement initially, he has turned the Merseyside giants into a dominant side both domestically and in Europe.

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Having won the Champions League last season, they have made an excellent start in their bid to end their wait for a Premier League title this year, and so the decision to stick it out and continue his work with the Reds is certainly paying dividends.

However, Watzke has revealed that he tried to convince Klopp to return to Dortmund in the summer of 2018, but ultimately he was turned down. Despite that, he had nothing but positive things to say about Klopp as his professionalism evidently left a lasting impression on the Bundesliga giants.

“I knew that Jurgen would [decline], that he will fulfil his contract in Liverpool,” Watzke wrote in his new book, as quoted by Sky Sports. “Jurgen has always fulfilled his contracts, but if you want to go new ways and we had to break new ground at BVB, then at least I had to ask Jurgen if he could possibly imagine that.

“I did not expect that at all, but I would not have forgiven myself for not asking him at that moment.

“The most important thing in our relationship was and is that we can rely on each other blindly,” he added. “Jurgen never lied to me. He is always honest, even in the job. And I never lied to him.”

Time will tell if the pair are reunited in the future, but Watzke’s suggestion that Klopp fulfils his contracts will be music to the ears of Liverpool fans as his current deal runs until 2022.

Given the level of success and progression that the club are making under his stewardship though, it will surely come as no surprise to anyone if he extends further, provided he can maintain what he is doing right now.

Nevertheless, perhaps the idea of returning to Germany later in his career will appeal and a reunion with Dortmund would certainly be a popular decision with their fans given their achievements under Klopp during his first stint at the helm.

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