Roma midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan has revealed how then-Borussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp beat Liverpool and Tottenham in the race to sign him back in 2013.
Mkhitaryan, who is on loan in the Serie A from Arsenal after being exiled by former Gunners head coach Unai Emery, has scored six goals and registered four assists in 20 appearances for Roma this term.
The Armenia international initially rose to prominence with Dortmund, spending three successful years with the club after signing in the summer of 2013.
Speaking to Italian source Siamo La Roma (via Sport Witness), however, Mkhitaryan revealed how he could have moved to the Premier League at that point in his career, with his agent, Mino Raiola heavily involved.
“I left with Raiola for London, initially to speak with Tottenham,” the midfielder said.
“We were waiting for offers from Liverpool but we weren’t sure. Then we received the call from Dortmund and immediately flew to Germany.”
Mkhitaryan also revealed how Klopp persuaded him to move to the Bundesliga.
“They had sold Götze and needed a new ‘number 10’. At Liverpool and Tottenham the seats were already taken, so moving to Borussia was the best thing to do.
“Klopp immediately told me his ideas, where he saw me on the pitch.”
Mkhitaryan won two German Super Cups with Dortmund before sealing his move to the English top flight with Manchester United in 2016.
However, Jose Mourinho’s arrival in the dugout spelled the end for his time at Old Trafford and he was sent to Arsenal as part of a swap deal for Alexis Sanchez.
Indeed, Mkhitaryan has revealed how his relationship with the Portuguese led to their relationship deteriorating.
The midfielder admitted that with Mourinho a “winner by nature”, he found it difficult to get on with the manager.