Football: Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp praises young Manchester United fan for 'cheeky' letter

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp admits he felt obliged to reply to a "cheeky" letter from a young Manchester United fan, who asked if it would be possible for the Premier League leaders to lose some games.

Liverpool are unbeaten in the Premier League this season and hold a 22-point lead over nearest rivals Manchester City, while they're 38 ahead of United. 

Ten-year-old Daragh Curley, from County Donegal, Ireland, is so upset he wrote to Klopp for a school assignment, making a case for why Liverpool should lose. 

"Liverpool are winning too many games. If you win nine more games then you have the best unbeaten run in English football. Being a United fan that is very sad.

"So the next time Liverpool play, please make them lose. You should just let the other team score. I hope I have convinced you to not win the league or any other match ever again."

Klopp saw the funny side of the letter and decided to write back.

"I cannot answer all the letters, I get a lot," said Klopp, at a press conference on Saturday (NZ time).

"But it was nice, it was cheeky. We had time that day so I read the letter and I replied.

"It's a private thing, I get a letter, I respond and the next day it's in a newspaper - I don't like that too much, but it's all fine.

"I like working for Liverpool and I like the rivalry we have. But I love even more if we can keep that [rivalry] on the pitch. But apart from that they can be happy and we should be happy and I hope Daragh is now happy - he looked like it on the picture I saw later, so good."

In the letter, Klopp praised Daragh's passion and had to explain why he can make the Irishman's dreams come true. 

"Unfortunately, on this occasion, I cannot grant your request, not through choice anyway," Klopp wrote in his letter. 

"As much as you want Liverpool to lose, it is my job to do everything that I can to help Liverpool to win as there are millions of people around the world who want that to happen so I really do not want to let them down.

"I can safely say that one thing that will not change is your passion for football and for your club. Manchester United are lucky to have you.

"Although our clubs are great rivals we also share a great respect for one another. This, to me, is what football is all about."

Daragh's father Gordon Curley told BBC News the family were surprised when a letter from the Liverpool manager arrived.

"I would be a Man Utd fan myself, it's grating that Liverpool are doing so well, but behind it all you have to respect Klopp and what he's done," he said. 

"He came across as a nice guy all along, I suppose this letter really confirms to me that he is a decent, decent guy.

"What I love about the letter is that it's about sportsmanship and respect too and I think saying that to a 10-year-old is great."

Liverpool are back in action on Tuesday against West Ham United.