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25th Jul 2018

Julian Nagelsmann reveals he rejected Real Madrid’s approach to become manager

Simon Lloyd

“I am 31 years old, I will have another chance.”

For much of the last year, it’s seemed inevitable that Julian Nagelsmann would one day be linked with some of the top jobs in world football. Very few, however, would have expected such offers to come his way quite so soon…

The 31-year-old guided Hoffenheim to the Champions league for the first time in its history last season, finishing third in the Bundesliga.

He’s now revealed that such an achievement alerted Real Madrid, who approached him about becoming their new manager following Zinedine Zidane’s departure at the end of the season.

Although Nagelsmann admitted he was flattered to be contacted by the European champions, he insisted the time was not right for him to leave Germany.

“Madrid called me,” he told 11Freunde.

“Who would hang up the telephone? Universe Football Club doesn’t exist, so there’s no bigger club than Real Madrid.

“But I am 31 years old, I will have another chance. I didn’t want to move countries.”

Nagelsmann took charge at Hoffenheim as a 28-year-old in February 2016, helping them avoid relegation. The next season he guided them to a fourth-place finish in the German top flight. Had they not drawn eventual finalists Liverpool in the Champions League qualifiers, they might have made their debut in Europe’s premier club cup competition a year earlier.

It was confirmed last month that Nagelsmann will become manager of RB Leipzig at the end of the current season. Although his contract with Hoffenheim runs until the summer of 2021, he activated a release clause to allow him to move to Leipzig, signing a deal with them until 2023.