Jurgen Klopp has revealed that he held talks with Sir Alex Ferguson over Manchester United's failed attempt to get the best out of Shinji Kagawa.
The Japanese playmaker was sold back to Borussia Dortmund this summer just three years after Ferguson brought him to Old Trafford.
Having lit up the Bundesliga with Klopp's men, Kagawa was expected to shine in the Premier League. However, he did anything but, eventually becoming a kit-part player under David Moyes before later being replaced by Angel Di Maria.
Kagawa was one of Ferguson's last signings before retiring in the summer of 2013. Joining in 2012, Kagawa had an up-and-down season under Ferguson, but showed potential at times; most notably his hat-trick against Norwich City.
Man United blamed
Klopp has revealed that he spoke with former Manchester United manager Ferguson over the transfer. Ferguson believes that the club must take the blame for not getting the best out of Kagawa and was disappointed to see him sold.
The German manager told The Sun: “I met Sir Alex in Nyon and he’s still in love with Shinji. He told me, ‘Shame we didn’t manage this well so that it worked out for him. We were satisfied in the first year’.
“And in the second year you usually make the next step but he didn’t manage to do it. But Sir Alex was saying ‘Shame we should have made this work’.”
Kagawa was in fine form on his second Dortmund debut, scoring one and setting up another in a 3-1 win over Freiburg.
Having lost Marco Reus to another ankle injury, Klopp is confident that Kagawa can fill the gap when Premier League club Arsenal travel to Germany for the first Champions League group game of the season.
He said: “It’s an unbelievable blow to lose Marco ahead of Arsenal. It was a heart attack but then I thought ‘OK I have Shinji’. On his first day back, we saw “Shinji”, second day “Shinji”, third day “Shinji”.
“He has all his skills still, I think he has no problem with self-confidence. We spoke about it and he’s OK. He played more matches than everybody thinks.