Jurgen Klopp’s right-hand man Pep Lijnders could’ve ended up at Manchester United.
There is no denying that Lijnders has been an integral part of Liverpool’s success over the past six years, during which they have managed one Premier League title, but he was seemingly close to becoming a coach at Manchester United.
Lijnders joined Liverpool in 2014 to work under Brendan Rodgers and he was kept on following Jurgen Klopp’s appointment a year later.
However, things could have been very different for Lijnders, as he explains in a recent interview with FourFourTwo.
“I had been at the academy of Porto since 2007 and had started to think about a next step,” Lijnders said.
“[In 2013] I received an approach from Manchester United – Alex Ferguson and his Dutch assistant Rene Meulensteen wanted to bring me to the club. It looked really good, but a few months later Ferguson retired and the opportunity fell through.
“One year later, Liverpool showed an interest and I became their under-16s coach. After a while I began to speak with Brendan Rodgers, who was curious how I was implementing a 3-4-3 system in my team.
“We got on well and in my second season [2015-16] I was asked to be one of his assistants.
“I learned a lot from him, although he left by the October. I kept my assistant role when Jurgen Klopp came in and we’ve developed a very strong bond.”
We have no idea what would have happened if Lijnders did join United – but I highly doubt it would have made any difference because the manager will always have the final say.
It is also worth noting that Lijdners may have good chemistry with Klopp, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will work with every other manager in the game.
I’m sure he would love to work with Erik ten Hag.