According to Thomas Zocher of Sky Sports, Klopp confirmed to Sky Deutschland he offered the Japan international an exit route from English football, but was quickly rebuffed as Kagawa sets his sights on becoming a star for the Premier League champions this season:
This is not an issue for him this year, not even for us. It was clear relatively quickly, Shinji wants to prevail this year at Manchester United. I did not expect a different answer, you just have to ask even once.
Kagawa left the German outfit for United 12 months ago, but his first year at Old Trafford was disrupted by injury and inconsistent form as he struggled to cement a regular starting spot.
The two-time Bundesliga winner made 26 appearances during his first term at United, scoring six goals. That form was in stark contrast to his time in Germany, where he reached double figures in the goals column in back-to-back campaigns.
Klopp recently expressed his frustration at seeing Kagawa deployed in a left-wing role at United, per Donald McRae of the Guardian: “My heart breaks. Really, I have tears in my eyes.”
The latest revelation comes after Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke recently told German daily Bild (via Sky Sports): "Shinji (Kagawa) is a player we would welcome back. The door is always open for him at our club."
Kagawa has enjoyed a promising preseason with United, operating in the hole behind the main striker. And although he admits he will probably return to Dortmund in the future, the 24-year-old was quoted last week by Telegraph Sport telling Japanese television his only intention is to star for the Red Devils:
One day I will return to Dortmund, if they agree to it. There was too much going through my head [last season]. I haven't been happy with my performances. I didn't score as much as I wanted to and I was injured.
Even though we were Premier League champions, I can't feel that I achieved everything I wanted to. Personally, it wasn't a good season for me.
With unsettled forward Wayne Rooney a confirmed target for Chelsea according to The Times, Kagawa is expected to enjoy a more central role under new boss David Moyes. Blessed with vision and sharp movement, he has already displayed in preseason a promising understanding with first-choice striker Robin van Persie.
United and Kagawa continue their preparations for the 2013-14 campaign on Aug. 6 with a friendly encounter against Swedish side AIK.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!