Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has revealed he turned the chance to become Manchester United manager after Sir Alex Ferguson's exit in 2013.
Klopp was being lined up ahead of Ferguson's retirement but the then Borussia Dortmund coach rejected their advances in favour of continuing his battle with Bayern Munich.
The German left the club in 2015 before later taking up the post at Anfield following Brendan Rodgers' departure.
In an exclusive interview with Liverpool legend and Sky Sports pundit Phil Thompson, Klopp said: "I'm a football romantic. I'm confident but not as confident as other managers, thinking this club will call, that club will call.
"A lot of clubs called and I said 'No, no chance, I need to make a break now'. Even my wife knew, if Liverpool is calling, I go.
"And that's really difficult to explain. Yes there was interest - Manchester United, yes they were interested a year or a year-and-a-half before, but it didn't feel right.
"I couldn't say Man United is not my club, it didn't feel right.
"When Liverpool called, I had no chance. It was actually too early for my plans.
"I said, 'Wow, come on!' But then coming here and feeling the spirit immediately, it was just, for me, a match in heaven."
Liverpool are involved in an attacking match made in heaven when they host runaway Premier League leaders and United's neighbours Manchester City on Sunday.
The Reds were battered 5-0 at the Etihad Stadium in September but with the mitigating circumstance of Sadio Mane's controversial sending off. And Klopp is hoping for revenge at Anfield this weekend.
"When I think about the game on Sunday, I cannot forget the first we played against them," he added.
"It changed the season for City in a positive way and gave us a little knock for a few days and weeks.
"That was unlucky, it was an open game. Nobody cares about that anymore but it's the truth. We got a red card, which was the worst place in world football to be one down - wow! No chance that day.
"We have to pay back, in a football way. We have such a strong group here, they really love working together, if you would have seen the sessions this week they are on fire.
"I love that, but that doesn't mean we will win against Man City, but that does mean we can be really difficult for City."
Liverpool will be taking on City without another influential figure with the spectre of Philippe Coutinho's exit looming over this clash.
The Brazilian joined Barcelona in a £142million deal earlier this month after a protracted transfer saga and the Reds boss insists the club had no option but sell now.
He said: "We had no chance to use him in the second part of the season. We all tried everything to convince him.
"I cannot give you the details, but we tried all you can imagine, believe me.
"It started in the summer. That was the problem, it was really late. Philippe says, and it's 100 per cent the truth, I really believe that he wouldn't have left Liverpool for any other club in the world.
"He was convinced he wanted to go, so in the second half of the season we couldn't have used him.
"Having a player of his quality and bringing him out there [to play], but his head is already away, and then he plays at 40 percent, gets injured or not, it's a difficult situation for the whole squad.
"And so, that was the moment, we went okay, we have to do it. To make the best for us. For sure, he can fulfil his dream, but we are still here and it's a big business with the money."
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