Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp did talk to Sir Alex Ferguson about the possibility of succeeding him as Manchester United bossLaurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp's former coach Eckhard Krautzun has produced another intriguing talking point before this weekend's north-west derby clash at Anfield by revealing how the current Liverpool boss previously held ambitions of managing Manchester United.

The Reds welcome Jose Mourinho's charges to Merseyside on Saturday (14 October) hoping to reduce a seven-point gap in the Premier League and deal an early blow to their free-scoring rivals' burgeoning title hopes.

Klopp will be patrolling the home dugout for the latest installment of one of the most traditionally eagerly-anticipated fixtures on the English football calendar, but it could have been a very different story had his early dreams been realised.

"It would be his dream to go to England one day and his favourite club would be [Manchester] United. That's what he said," the extremely well-travelled Krautzun, who coached Klopp at Mainz before being succeeded by his player in 2001, told The Set Pieces.

Krautzun further admitted that he discussed that very topic with long-time friend Sir Alex Ferguson, who ended his illustrious 26-year reign in charge of Manchester United in 2013.

He added: "I said, 'Jurgen Klopp, if he goes abroad, if he goes to England, his love would be Manchester United.'"

Krautzun believes that Klopp could have ended up in Manchester instead of Liverpool had the managerial post at Old Trafford been vacant when he eventually asked to be released from his Borussia Dortmund contract after seven years in 2015. However, he also thinks that his current job is a good fit for such a "passionate and very temperamental man".

United now infamously settled on David Moyes as the man to usher in a new era at the club, a decision that proved disastrous when he was relieved of his duties just 10 months later.

Although he was widely believed at the time to have been selected as the "chosen one" by his fellow Scot, Ferguson later revealed in his book 'Leading' that Klopp featured alongside the likes of Mourinho and Pep Guardiola on a list of several "very desirable candidates" that were all unavailable.

"We also knew that Jurgen Klopp was happy at Borussia Dortmund and would be signing a new contract," he said.

Klopp confirmed last year that he did indeed hold discussions with Ferguson about the possibility of taking the United job, but could not accept due to the timing of the approach and his unwavering loyalty to Dortmund. He described the talks as a "big honour".