Manchester United's Henrikh Mkhitaryan reveals how Jurgen Klopp persuaded him not to join Liverpool

The Armenian winger nearly moved to Anfield in the summer of 2013

Evan Bartlett
Sunday 15 January 2017 14:29
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Klopp signed Mkhitaryan from Shakhtar in 2013
Klopp signed Mkhitaryan from Shakhtar in 2013

Henrikh Mkhitaryan will line up for the home side on Sunday when his Manchester United side face Liverpool at OId Trafford - but it could have been so different were it not for the persuasive words of Jurgen Klopp a few summers ago.

Mkhitaryan had caught the eye of several clubs in Europe's biggest leagues in 2013 while playing for Shakhtar Donetsk in the Ukrainian Premier League.

Among those interested were Tottenham, Liverpool and a Dortmund side then managed by Klopp.

Mkhitaryan has revealed that he spoke to Brendan Rodgers - then Liverpool manager - "two or three times" and the Northern Irishman "really wanted" to sign him.

While the Armenian winger had doubts whether he could make the physical step up to the Premier League, it was a meeting with Klopp that really persuaded him to turn down a move to Anfield.

"Jurgen Klopp broke off his holiday on an island next to Denmark to come and see me in Dortmund," Mkhitaryan told the Mail on Sunday.

"I knew he had a good reputation for working with younger players and, after we met, I felt more comfortable to sign for Dortmund. I think I made the right decision."

Three years later and Mkhitaryan finally decided to make the switch to the Premier League - but this time to Liverpool's rivals Manchester United.

Just how much will Klopp rue that conversation on Sunday?

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