Two Premier League Stars Turned Down Liverpool In 2016
Jurgen Klopp has overhauled Liverpool's squad extensively since his arrival at Anfield just over two years ago, spending significant amounts on the likes of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Georginio Wijnaldum, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Virgil van Dijk. But the Reds' manager could have an even stronger squad had he not been turned down by two Premier League stars in 2016.
In Klopp's first summer in charge, the former Borussia Dortmund manager was aiming to reinforce his squad with a pair of marquee signings from the Bundesliga.
However, instead of strengthening his team, Klopp saw both targets reject a move to Anfield to instead make a switch to Manchester City.
Indeed, both Leroy Sane and Ilkay Gundogan had the opportunity to become Liverpool players two summers ago before deciding to play under Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium. A decision that, with City a million miles clear at the top of the Premier League, looks like an incredibly smart one.
Sane has twice turned Jurgen Klopp down. Once at Borussia Dortmund and once at Liverpool. Image: PA
Sane made his revelation to the Sun, while also revealing how he also turned Klopp down during his time as Dortmund manager, saying, "Before I joined City, I was talking with them. Jurgen was calling me. He did a good job at Dortmund. I met him when he was there.
"He's a good guy, a nice guy - honest. And he works well with Liverpool.
"There was a time, when he was at Dortmund, when I was still in the academy that I could have gone there from Schalke. But there was no thoughts at all to move to a rival.
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"There are no regrets at all about the decisions I made."
Gundogan has come into form at City after a first season riddled with injury. Image: PA
Gundogan, meanwhile, explained to the Daily Mail, "I spoke with Jurgen about different things. He always liked me as a player and I would be a liar if I said he didn't try.
"But when I had the opportunity to join City and work with Pep, it was quite clear that I wanted to come here.
"When I was a little bit down because of my injury, he was quite sure he was still going to try to buy me.
"That showed me it could never be the wrong decision to join this club. They are both great managers, great characters and very ambitious. I've been lucky."
How different things could have been.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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