Fabrizio Romano: Liverpool had made ‘calls’ in January over 21 y/o who’s just joined EPL rivals

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According to Fabrizio Romano, Liverpool had made ‘calls’ in January about the possibility of signing Josko Gvardiol when he was at RB Leipzig.

Despite being linked with the player intermittently for numerous months, the Reds saw him complete a £77.6m move to Manchester City over the weekend (Sky Sports).

It wasn’t for the want of trying from the Merseysiders, but having received a firm hands-off message from the Bundesliga club in the winter, the focus moved to other transfer targets.

As Romano explained on the Here We Go Podcast on Saturday: “Liverpool have always been really interested in Josko Gvardiol.

“In January they did some calls to understand the situation around the player, if there was a possibility to approach Leipzig, maybe to find a creative formula to sign the player. But Leipzig said ‘no way, the player is not for sale in January.’

“Liverpool decided to focus on different targets and to invest their money in different positions, in the midfield especially this summer – we know they changed a lot.”

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Despite Liverpool’s long-standing interest in Gvardiol before his move to Man City, the finances always seemed prohibitive for the Reds, with Leipzig having reportedly been demanding in the region of £80m for the 21-year-old (Football Insider).

The Anfield giants may have been able to go big on the Croatian in different circumstances, but with such a large-scale rebuilding job needed on their midfield this summer, there was never going to be scope for a marquee addition elsewhere.

Aside from the obvious annoyance of seeing a long-time transfer target moving to an already imperious domestic rival, Jurgen Klopp will be frustrated to have missed out on the player for other reasons.

Gvardiol would’ve filled the left-footed centre-back niche in the Liverpool squad and, at just 21, would’ve been regarded as the long-term successor to new captain Virgil van Dijk at the heart of defence.

That’s not to mention his billing as one of the leading players in his position in Europe, having starred for Croatia in last year’s World Cup. Indeed, his national team boss Zlatko Dalic had even dubbed him the world’s best central defender, hailing his maturity and ‘elegance’ (talkSPORT).

It’s a classic case of what could’ve been for the Reds, but with less than a month remaining in the summer transfer window, Jorg Schmadtke and co must press ahead with realistic pursuits rather than wallowing in self-pity over the 21-year-old’s move to the Etihad Stadium.

#Ep83 of The Empire of the Kop Podcast: EOTK Insider with Neil Jones

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