Red Bull Leipzig manager Ralph Rangnick went all out to sign Joe Gomez before our teenager eventually chose Liverpool, but then turned down Jamie Vardy, served up on a plate, afterwards!
The German was discussing his side’s transfer plans, when he told Sport Bild the odd story from two summers ago.
According to Rangnick, he met an agent on a plane back from England, disappointed that he couldn’t persuade Charlton’s Gomez to sign. The agent urged him to take a risk on Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, then 27, instead, but he refused due to his age.
“We desperately wanted to sign Joe Gomez, who later chose Liverpool, and we were flying back from London to Leipzig with his agent,” Rangnick began.
“On the plane, the agent said to me ‘Mr Rangnick, it’s a crying shame that you are so radical about who you sign and only go for players who are under 24 because I’ve got somebody who would be just perfect for you.
“I can guarantee he would become a national team player under you, but he’s already 27 and he’s also spent time in prison after a little fight.’
“It was Jamie Vardy.”
Rangnick replied: “No, he’s 27 – we’re not doing it.”
We have to first admire the foresight of the agent to predict Vardy’s astronomical improvement. He’s scored over 20 Premier League goals this term for the Foxes, who are one win away from title glory. Vardy will start for England at the Euros, and his jaw-dropping progression is being mooted for a Hollywood film.
Gomez must have turned down the German approach two years back, as he stayed at Charlton and headed to Liverpool last summer.
Red Bull Leipzig are currently in Bundesliga II, so we wonder just how much Rangnick regrets missing out on this odd pairing.
For our sakes, we just hope Gomez returns to fitness over the summer and gets an opportunity under Jurgen Klopp next term. He’s terrifically talented, and could save us a hatful if he reaches anywhere near his potential.