Roma president James Pallotta insists his claims Alisson would be signing for Real Madrid were part of a joke among friends.
The goalkeeper has been strongly linked with the Champions League winners after Liverpool appeared to diffuse their interest having been put off by his £80million valuation.
Madrid now evidently sit in pole position for the Brazilian no.1, who has reportedly already reached an agreement on personal terms.
Deciding on a fee always promised to be an issue given the enormity of Roma’s asking-price, with early suggestions entailing a reluctance on Real’s side to pay such a hefty price.
Having recently been asked about a potential move to Napoli for Alisson, Pallota responded by claiming the 25-year-old was close to a move to the Bernabéu.
He has since been at hand to explain his comments, stating on Roma’s Twitter account: “I have read with much amusement the quotes attributed to me about the transfer market.”
“In fact I was joking around with a group of guys and responded sarcastically with a reference to the popular rumours on Twitter and in the papers since I’ve been in Italy.”
“There was nothing serious about anything I said whilst making pizza. Just stupid American humour that some don’t get.”
President Pallotta: “I have read with much amusement the quotes attributed to me about the transfer market. In fact I was joking around with a group of guys and responded sarcastically with a reference to the popular rumours on Twitter and in the papers since I’ve been in Italy.” pic.twitter.com/3p4U7ie9L1
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) June 14, 2018
Liverpool’s need for a new shot-stopper is significantly greater than Real Madrid’s in light of Loris Karius’ rocky path back to form following his torrid Champions League final.
Alisson not only surfaced as the towering and assured presence capable of injecting added confidence in aerial duels, but also spent the season flaunting a notable composure with the ball at his feet in compliment to his catalogue of sharp reaction saves.
To see the Reds end their pursuit given the club’s spending power and having spent £75million to sign Virgil van Dijk hints at a possible backup plan.
Nonetheless, there remains the very real possibility of Jurgen Klopp keeping his faith in Karius and Danny Ward as his two shot-stoppers heading into next season.