Jürgen Klopp says Liverpool were interested in signing Jadon Sancho before his Bundesliga move but Manchester City would not deal with English rivals.
Teenager Sancho is excelling for Borussia Dortmund following an £8 million transfer in 2017, one of several highly-rated English players switching to the Bundesliga for regular football.
Klopp believes the recent exodus has more to do with the idiosyncrasies of the English transfer system than German concerns about their Academy graduates.
“Buying English players is a smart idea because we would never have a chance to get Sancho,” said Klopp.
“We are not blind. We saw him, we liked him and then we think, ‘Can we get him?’ No, because English clubs don’t sell to other English clubs. I don’t know exactly what the reason is for that but they don’t do it.”
Ahead of Liverpool’s Champions League tie with Bayern Munich, Klopp refuted the idea German football was entering a period of decline. “There is no dip. Six or seven years ago you had all these boys coming up – Marco Reus, André Schürrle, Mario Götze, Thomas Müller, Mats Hummels – and it was clear when they became under-21 European Champions it would be a generation of proper quality,” said Klopp.
“England now has that situation. It is like a wave with one country a little bit up and another country down. Now they can go to Germany, which is a wonderful league.
“I saw the Dortmund game against Tottenham and it was a completely open game in the first half. I don’t see German football in a bad situation. It is a normal situation as well, a bit like Bayern. They have been unbelievably successful and now the next generation has to come up. That will happen again. The Bundesliga is a fantastic league and everything will be fine for them but at the moment I am in the Premier League and more interested in what we have to do here.”
Sancho, meanwhile, is now rated around £70 million.