Liverpool defender Nathaniel Phillips has revealed that Jurgen Klopp personally called Stuttgart sporting director Sven Mislintat to help him secure a loan move to the German club this summer.
Phillips, 22, joined the Bundesliga 2 side on a season-long loan shortly after signing a long-term contract with the Reds.
The former Bolton Wanderers youngster has already made two league appearances for Stuttgart following the club’s relegation from the German top flight last season.
And the centre-back said that Liverpool boss Klopp played a prominent role in his move after he was included in the Premier League club’s recent pre-season tour of the United States.
“I told Jurgen Klopp about a few offers I had, Stuttgart was not one of them at that time” Phillips told Bild .
“Jurgen was not enthusiastic about the options and I think he called Sven Mislintat shortly after our meeting.
“Klopp congratulated me on this move and he immediately wrote me a message on his phone: ‘Good club, great city, my birthplace, I wish you a great time.”
Phillips completed the switch to Germany on August 6, just days before Liverpool started their Premier League campaign against Norwich.
Although he has been with Stuttgart less than a month, the defender says he has already noticed some similarities between the German side and his parent club – from manager Tim Walter to the way the team is viewed by league rivals.
“Tim Walter is a bit like Klopp,” he added. “Both of them are very positive, have fun, are passionate and dedicated, and that’s great for the fans as well as for us players.
He continued: “The VfB is a bit like the Liverpool of the 2nd League: everyone wants to beat the club, for many opponents it is the game of the year.”
Meanwhile, Liverpool boss Klopp has insisted that the club “really, really care” about its young players after the controversy surrounding Bobby Duncan.
Duncan’s agent released a statement on Wednesday accusing the club of “mentally bullying” the youngster and holding him against his wishes after they reportedly rejected offers from Fiorentina and FC Nordsjælland.
The club have already denied the accusations in a statement and Klopp also rejected suggestions of lack of care.
“We had an official statement from the club about that,” he said ahead of his side’s trip to Burnley on Saturday.
“That’s the situation. It’s really difficult to speak as a non-native speaker as each word has to be the right one, but I can say we really, really care about our young players and Bobby is one.
“In football, sometimes contract things can be a problem. That’s a normal situation in all age groups. But with young players we are especially sensitive. We have to do the right things, all the different parties.”