Jurgen Klopp was the only thing that stopped Newcastle United signing a striker now rated at 60m euros (approx £46m).
French-born Gabon forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, has revealed in an interview this weekend that he turned down Newcastle United in 2013 and moved to Borussia Dortmund for lower wages, because he wanted to play under Jurgen Klopp.
Proof of the value of a charismatic manager to sell your club to players, something that we were spoilt with when Kevin Keegan and Sir Bobby Robson were in charge at Newcastle.
Back in July 2013 when Aubameyang joined Jurgen Klopp and Dortmund, we covered reports then (read them HERE) that St.Etienne had also kept a promise to the striker for having stayed with them for the full season instead of leaving in January, by selling him to the German club for less than Newcastle and others had offered – to ensure he got to go to the club of his choice.
The then 24 year old moving to Dortmund for 13m euros (around £10m), with a further 2m euros depending on his progress in Germany.
Definitely a case of what might have been for Newcastle United, who instead went on to loan Loic Remy for a relatively successful year but then a pretty disastrous record with strikers since – with Riviere scoring only once in the whole of last season and now Mitrovic struggling to find the net with only five so far in his first season.
In contrast, Aubameyang has shown blinding progress and in Germany has scored 69 goals in 87 starts (plus 22 as a sub) for Dortmund, including a remarkable 30 goals in 30 starts (all competititions) this season, so far!
Staying with Dortmund despite Jurgen Klopp’s departure, now he is being talked about as a target for Real Madrid and others (including Liverpool…), with a price tag starting at 60m euros.
As Newcastle United are finding out this season, without at least one reliable quality striker you are always going to struggle.
Speaking to L’Equipe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also revealed his passion for Michael Jackson…:
“Aaah, Michael Jackson! This is my life. I started listening to tapes when I was about three or four years old.. From the first notes, I was taken by the rhythm, I was dancing. I gorged myself on Michael’s videos to try to move like him.
“The energy he gives is amazing! It helps me a lot. So much to influence your life? It is still with me … Before matches, I put myself in my bubble with his music.. it boosts me even if I am tired. Michael Jackson was someone different. He made history. Through his music, the way he moved, his clothes … he was from another planet. .
“I received an offer (in 2012) from Qatar of 10m euros a year and if I had accepted, then my family would have been set up for life.
“Instead we chose to stay at St Etienne, where I got 70,000 euros per month (less than 1m euros a year), knowing that with my ability, I could earn money later.
“The following season, St Etienne wanted to sell me to Newcastle but we opted for (Borussia) Dortmund, finalist in the Champions League (losing 2-1 to Bayern Munich at Wembley in May 2013) because my father studied Jurgen Klopp’s game, even though the money was lower.”