Borussia Dortmund's Nuri Sahin has revealed former manager Jurgen Klopp was supportive of his move to Real Madrid.
The Turkey international joined Los Blancos in 2011 after an impressive season with Dortmund and says Klopp told him he would support any decision the midfielder made.
Sahin told the Players' Tribune: “After we won the Bundesliga in 2011, I got a text from my agent.
“Hey Nuri, Real Madrid wants you.
“It’s kind of funny that it just happened like that. Through a text. It wasn’t like you imagine when you’re a kid.
"I had heard my name mentioned in transfer rumours before, but never with Real Madrid. And now, here they were. The white kits, the Bernabeu, the history. And I remembered the promise that I’d made to myself all those years ago.
“There was a part of me that wanted to say ‘no’. Dortmund had given me so much - how could I leave them? It was hard to think about. I lost sleep. I talked for hours with my wife and family.
“But I had to speak with Dortmund’s manager, Jurgen Klopp, before I could decide. I will remember our conversation forever. 'Nuri, it is your choice,' he told me. 'But if you leave, you must know, I will always be on your side. You are my friend forever.'
'"If I stay,' I said, 'I will think about life in Madrid. I will be in Dortmund physically, but mentally… I’ll be lost. I couldn’t live like that.' And I told him that I only had one life to live - that I didn’t want to regret any part of it.
“Jurgen understood, and he told me to follow my heart. A few hours later, I announced my decision.”
Sahin made just 10 appearances for Madrid during his one season at the club, having loan spells at Liverpool and Dortmund before returning permanently to his former club in 2014, while Klopp is now managing Liverpool.