The Germany international is reportedly on the verge of agreeing to join Manchester United but his boss at BVB is only thinking about winning at the Allianz Arena
Jurgen Klopp says Borussia Dortmund will not allow speculation surrounding the future of midfielder Ilkay Gundogan or his own private life to affect their concentration ahead of Tuesday’s DFB-Pokal showdown with Bayern Munich.
It was reported at the weekend that Manchester United were on the verge of agreeing a deal with BVB for Germany international Gundogan, who has only one year left on his contract.
Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc promptly rubbished the story and Klopp had no interest in discussing the issue any further on the eve of his side’s daunting trip to the Allianz Arena to face Bayern, who were crowned Bundesliga champions at the weekend.
“It’s normal that players get linked with other clubs, especially here,” the 47-year-old coach told reporters on Monday. “It doesn’t disrupt our focus on the game.
“This is a super-important match. This is a hurdle we have to overcome in order to get to the final.
“Bayern are an exceptional opponent but we are looking forward to this game.
“We were already happy after the quarter-final against Hoffenheim but now we have this duel with one of the most difficult opponents in football. It is practically a final.”
Klopp announced earlier this month that he will stand down as coach at the end of the season but he dismissed the suggestion that he is viewing a DFB-Pokal triumph as the perfect way for him to bring the curtain down on his seven-year stint at Signal Iduna Park.
“Everybody wants to make the final,” he stated. “Everybody wants to experience it again. This is not about me; I am not important enough for that.
“Since we lost the 2014 final to Bayern under weird circumstances (Mats Hummels had a goal controversially disallowed), we want to go back there. And for that to happen you have to beat Bayern sooner or later.
“We have to be at 100 per cent. It can happen, but it won’t happen by talking.
“The past shows that when we were able to stick by our plan, we were very uncomfortable to play against. Once we get passive, it gets uncomfortable for us.”
Klopp, though, did not display any discomfort when asked to address a rumour about his personal life that has been put forward as an explanation for his decision to quit BVB this summer, dealing with the matter in characteristically light-hearted fashion.
“People have told me about a story that I will leave the club because my wife left me and I had a thing with a player’s wife,” he added. “That is nonsense.
“I still love Ulla. She has had 100 reasons to leave me, but not those kind of reasons!
“So, with my family everything is fine and I hope that topic is closed now.”