Jurgen Klopp turned down Manchester United because he believed the club was too commercially motivated, according to ex-Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler.
Klopp recently marked four years since taking over at Liverpool, during which time he has transformed the club from the one he inherited from his predecessor Brendan Rodgers.
He was linked with United following the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson before the Old Trafford outfit opted instead to give the job to David Moyes.
And former Reds forward Fowler says the manager told him several years ago that he rejected the club’s great rivals in favour of a team with the right balance between money and identity.
Writing in the Mirror, Fowler said: “I did an interview with him a couple of years ago and he told me he turned down a couple of super-rich clubs after Dortmund – one of them was definitely Manchester United, the other probably Real Madrid – because he hated how they were focused solely on commercial influences.
“He said he liked Liverpool because they had a balance between the money needed to reach the top and the history and identity of the club and their fans.
“He also said he backed himself to make Anfield great again, even without the riches of the super-elite in world football – that he could do it another way. He’s not there yet, but he has certainly given Liverpool fans their belief back – and their pride, too. I have witnessed that.”
Klopp has led Liverpool to the top of the Premier League table this season, eight points clear of Manchester City having begun this term with eight straight wins.
He also won the club their sixth European Cup last season when the team beat Tottenham 2-0 in the Champions League final in Madrid.
“He gets what Liverpool is about,” said Fowler. “He gets what the people of the city are. Most importantly, he gets what it means to people to have that joy in their life.
“I’m not saying he’s not a disciplinarian. That image of him laughing all the time is not true – I’ve seen him deal with players in the past and he’s as tough as they come. But he has heart, too.
“He does all the tactical stuff, is hugely sophisticated in game plans, science, analysis, but his man-management sets him apart.”
“I’ve been in and around that club and I can see that Klopp is liked by everyone there."