Jurgen Klopp has enjoyed far more highs than lows during his distuinguished managerial career – but the Liverpool boss admits his failure to sign an uber-talented Tottenham star remains one of his biggest mistakes in his life.
The Reds manager is now in his eighth season in charge at Anfield, having overseen one of the most-successful spells in the club’s illustrious career. Indeed, he has reached three Champions League finals with the Reds, winning the trophy in 2019, having also helped end their 30-year wait for a domestic title.
And Klopp also enjoyed similar success with previous club Borussia Dortmund. Having coached them between 2008 and 2015 he also led them to a Champions League final in 2013. But he also steered BVB to Bundesliga glory in 2010/11 and 2011/12.
It was during his time at the Westfalenstadion that Klopp really established himself as one of the elite managers in the world game. He signed and developed a number of huge talents for Dortmund. Indeed, the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Marco Reus, Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski, to name four, all benefited from playing under Klopp.
However, there is one player from his time in Germany that Klopp hugely regrets not signing: Son Heung-min. The South Korean was making his name in the Bundesliga, playing for Hamburg between 2010 and 2013. During his final season at Hamburg, Son scored 12 times in 33 games, becoming the focus of plenty of transfer attention.
Among his suitors in summer 2013 were Dortmund, with Klopp seeing him as an ideal addition to his side.
Son, though, had other ideas and instead opted to sign for Bayer Leverkusen.
He then spent two seasons there before sealing a £22m move to Tottenham in August 2015.
Klopp really regrets Son transfer miss
Son has since gone on to become one of the leading attackers not just in the Premier League but in world football. Indeed, he won a share of the Premier League Golden Boot award last season alongside Mohamed Salah. Just don’t mention that to Dejan Kulusevski!
That form has since led to reports suggesting Son could be on the move once again. Indeed, Real Madrid are reportedly looking at securing his signing, while Liverpool and Klopp again been seemingly keen.
Looking back, though, on his failure to sign him while the pair were in Germany, Klopp reflects with a certain amount of sadness.
“One of the big mistakes in my life was that I didn’t sign him,” Klopp told South Korean network KBS.
“Outstanding player. World-class player and one of the best strikers in the world. Yeah, you should be proud.”
Son has also come clean on his reasons for snubbing Klopp, saying: “I wanted to stay in the Bundesliga and Leverkusen and Dortmund wanted me.
“Both teams play in the Champions League but I thought Dortmund would use rotation more than Leverkusen.
“That’s why I chose Leverkusen over Dortmund. It’s really important to play regularly in my age.”
Could future Son to Liverpool deal still happen?
Whether the two are ever officially united in football remains to be seen. And if there was any prospect of signing Son for Liverpool, Klopp would undoubtedly be keen.
The Reds may soon have a place open up in their attack should Roberto Firmino not sign a new deal. The Brazilian is out of contract at the end of the season and is eligible to talk to overseas suitors when the January window opens.
And while Klopp is reportedly keen to keep Firmino, Son may become an option should the Brazilian depart.
The South Korean’s deal is currently due to expire in summer 2025, meaning any deal will not come cheap.
As such, a move appears unlikely with the Merseysiders instead putting their focus on strengthening their midfield in 2023.
Klopp is hot on the trail of Jude Bellingham and the Reds are reportedly ‘very confident’ of securing his signature next year.
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