What Ed Woodward told Jurgen Klopp to scare him away from taking Man Utd job

Manchester United 0-5 Liverpool: Jurgen Klopp reaction

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Manchester United chief Ed Woodward reportedly put Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp off managing the Red Devils after he described the club as an “adult version of Disneyland”. It is claimed the United executive vice-chairman discussed the possibility of Klopp managing the club after he left Borussia Dortmund in 2014.

However, Woodward’s emphasis on promoting the commercial assets of the club, instead of the footballing aspects, allegedly made the possibility unappealing to Klopp.

Old Trafford was anything but the happiest place on earth on Sunday, as Klopp’s rampant Liverpool side dismantled and humiliated the Red Devil’s 5-0.

The ramifications of the result have been enormous, as it sent United’s executives, board members, and even Sir Alex Ferguson himself scurrying around their Carrington HQ like Ants.

Current United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is now in a very perilous position, with his side trailing current Premier League leaders in seventh position.

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However, if Woodward’s focus had been more directed towards the footballing aspect of the job rather than the commercial side, Klopp could have been the one in the dugouts, according to the Athletic.

In his pitch to Klopp, the United executive chairman – who will resign his duties at the end of the year after 16 years of service at the club – reportedly described the club as an “adult version of Disneyland”.

This was published in Klopp’s book ‘Bring the Noise’ written by Raphael Honigstein. It was also claimed Klopp was dissuaded from taking the reins at Old Trafford, as he felt their discussion was too heavily focussed on commercial aspects and was therefore low in detail from a football perspective.

At the time, Klopp had just left Dortmund after seven years, two Bundesliga titles, and the German Cup, where he enjoyed a strong football relationship with the likes of Hans-Joachim Watzke and Michael Zorc.

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United eventually hired Louis van Gaal as their second permanent manager since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.

While the Dutchman did win an FA Cup, very few United supporters look back on his spell fondly, as they found his style of football dry, and his philosophy baffling.

Klopp on the other hand went on to replace Brendan Rodgers at Anfield, after the Northern Irishman was relieved of his services in October 2015.

Liverpool went on to reach the Europa League final and finish in the top four of the Premier League, and Klopp took to Anfield like a duck to water.

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Meanwhile, United went on to sack Van Gaal, before replacing him Jose Mourinho whose two-year spell at the Reds was put to a stop in December 2018.

Ironically, Mourinho’s final match as United boss was a 3-1 loss to Klopp’s Liverpool side.

And the German boss looked to have sealed the same fate for Solskjaer, after his side pummelled United 5-0 at Old Trafford.

However, Solskjaer looks to have been granted a stay of execution for now, as he is expected to be in the dugout for United’s visit to Tottenham Hotspur.

Unfortunately, it will not get any easier for the Norwegian boss, as United travel to Italy to face Atalanta in a pivotal match in the Champions League, before returning to Old Trafford to host arch-rivals Manchester City.

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