Jurgen Klopp has revealed he passed on the oppportunity to become Manchester United manager after being approached by Sir Alex Ferguson.
Klopp and Ferguson held discussions as the latter was preparing to bring his 27-year reign at Old Trafford to an end, but no formal offer was tabled as the German was unprepared to leave Borussia Dortmund at the time.
Dortmund had just reached the Champions League final and had finished the two previous seasons as Bundesliga champions when Ferguson retired in 2013.
With Klopp believing he still had work to do in Germany, the Manchester United job instead went to David Moyes.
"We spoke. We spoke not a lot but, for me, it was a lot," said Klopp. "It was a big honour, the whole talk, to be honest.
"There was a time [when United were interested] but I could not leave Dortmund. That is it. You are in April and you are in the middle of planning for next season. You have this player and this player and this player who is coming in but then you are not there any more? That doesn't work. Not in my life anyway.
"I did not hear about a real offer but, if there was, I could not have done it. I first had to finish the job with Dortmund and then think about other things. Maybe that is not the smart way but that is my way. Of course, I was loyal to Dortmund. It was the same at Mainz."
Klopp stayed at Dortmund for two further seasons and took a short break before succeeding Brendan Rodgers as manager of Liverpool.
There was no love lost between the Merseyside giants and Ferguson while the Scot was in charge of United, but the new Liverpool boss Klopp admitted his respect for what he had achieved and even compared him to one of the city's most famous exports - John Lennon.
He said: "It's a big honour to talk to Sir Alex. For a manager it's nearly the best thing you can do, to sit there and listen.
"Maybe he is the greatest ever - the John Lennon of football. From my side there is a big amount of respect. What he did is not easy for another manager to do."