The Old Trafford hierarchy have already received positive signals from the German’s camp as the Borussia Dortmund boss leads the race ahead of Dutch coach Louis van Gaal
By Wayne Veysey
Manchester United have made Jurgen Klopp their No.1 target to replace David Moyes at Old Trafford, Goal can reveal.
The Borussia Dortmund manager is United’s top choice to take over from the Scot, who is set to be sacked just 11 months after being appointed Sir Alex Ferguson’s successor.
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Manchester United would be stupid not to have Jurgen Klopp on their shortlist. But to be honest, the chances of him leaving Dortmund are very, very slim. He has shown absolutely no signs of becoming tired at BVB and he is as committed as ever.
He signed a new contract until 2018 last October and said at the time: “We are all a little in love with this club and how things are run here. Nothing can separate us and until 2018 nobody needs to call me.”
And Klopp said last summer that there had been offers, but that he did not want to leave Dortmund: “There were indeed requests. Requests from clubs which I never thought would be interested in signing me and my staff. But my respect towards Borussia Dortmund is so high that I never thought about it.”
He’s also said in the past that he would only consider leaving Dortmund if he felt the relationship with his team would “change”.
That, however, does not look like happening now, or in the immediate future.
Goal understands that Klopp’s camp has already been sounded out by the United hierarchy. He is believed to have initially held reservations about the post but sources have said the 46-year-old has subsequently had a change of heart and there is growing confidence at Old Trafford that he could be persuaded to move to the Premier League.
Goal has learned that United have already met with Louis van Gaal, who will be a free agent when he steps down as Netherlands coach after the World Cup.
However, the meeting, which is believed to have taken place last week, has prompted strong reservations in the United boardroom about whether Van Gaal’s dictatorial management style would get the best out of the players, including the senior core who have been so disaffected under Moyes.
The Scot will be dismissed before Saturday’s Premier League clash against Norwich City at Old Trafford, with Ryan Giggs likely to be placed in charge of United until the end of the season. However, the player-coach, 40, is not believed to be a realistic candidate to replace Moyes on a permanent basis due to his lack of managerial experience.
Klopp, who is contracted to Dortmund until 2018, has the greatest appeal to the United hierarchy for transforming the German club into a European powerhouse since taking over six years ago.
Klopp led Dortmund to consecutive Bundesliga titles in 2011 and 2012, when they also won the domestic double, and they were the runners-up in last season’s Champions League final.
Dortmund have continued to punch above their weight this season, reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League only to be narrowly defeated by Real Madrid. They are also second in the Bundesliga table although a distant second behind recently-crowned champions Bayern Munich.
Klopp has been widely linked with a move to the Premier League in recent years but has remained loyal to the club where he made his name.
United believe that they have the prestige and history to turn Klopp’s head and bring him to Old Trafford this summer.
The powerbrokers, led by the Glazer family and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, are willing to hand the new man a staggering transfer kitty of up to £200 million to reshape a squad that has failed so dismally this season.