Manchester City’s £55m man Kevin de Bruyne has revealed that he turned down now-Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund.
In the summer of 2013 – after a successful loan spell with Werder Bremen – the Belgian had the chance to leave Chelsea permanently, but was persuaded to stay in London by Jose Mourinho.
The returning Blues manager promised De Bruyne he would play regularly for Chelsea, but he featured in only three Premier League games before being sold to Wolfsburg in January 2014.
“I had a personal agreement [with Klopp],” De Bruyne had told the Daily Telegraph. “I asked the club to go because I had a good feeling about Dortmund at the time. I had been good in Germany and he really wanted me because Gotze went to Bayern Munich. He called me, and said ‘You will be the No 1’ … at a team who had been second in the Bundesliga and in the Champions League final.
“At the time I thought it was a good decision to go but the manager told me ‘You need to stay and you will get your chance here’. I accepted it and we moved on. I think he [Klopp] is a good trainer. I saw the way Dortmund played and they [Liverpool] play the same style. He tries to do the same. He is new here, and it will take some time. In the seven years he was there he did a magnificent job.
“I fancied it but there was no problem to stay. [Then] also in that summer they [Chelsea] bought two more players in my position, so you know it was going to be difficult. Even after pre-season I thought maybe this [move to Dortmund] can happen but it didn’t work out that way.”