Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Klopp heartbroken at Kagawa fate

Shinji Kagawa won the Premier League in his first season at Manchester United
Shinji Kagawa won the Premier League in his first season at Manchester United

Borussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp says his "heart breaks" to see Shinji Kagawa playing a bit-part role at Manchester United.

The 24-year-old moved to Old Trafford from Dortmund last summer, but has been far from a first-team regular and even then has often had to play out of position. The departure of Kagawa is part of a pattern for Dortmund coach Klopp, who this season has seen Mario Gotze agree to join Bayern Munich, with Robert Lewandowski looking likely to follow.

Klopp told the Guardian: "Shinji Kagawa is one of the best players in the world and he now plays 20 minutes at Manchester United - on the left wing! My heart breaks. Really, I have tears in my eyes. Central midfield is Shinji's best role. He's an offensive midfielder with one of the best noses for goal I ever saw."

He added: "But for most Japanese people it means more to play for Man United than Dortmund. We cried for 20 minutes, in each others' arms, when he left.

"One year before that Nuri Sahin went because Real Madrid is the biggest club in the world. If players are patient enough we can develop the team into one of the biggest in the world."

His side's run to the Champions League final has brought Klopp to the attention of some of the world's biggest clubs, but for now he is happy at Dortmund.

He said: "In this moment I don't think of anything else.

"If I went to many clubs now and said: 'Hello - bring me offers', maybe some would start running. But I'm not interested because, for me, this is the most interesting football project in the world.

"In three or four years, if someone wants me, we can speak. But, for now, this is the best place for me."

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