Liverpool were reportedly on the brink of signing one current member of Manchester United’s squad this summer.
According to the Daily Mail, Jurgen Klopp had personally phoned Fiorentina midfielder Sofyan Amrabat to try and entice him to Anfield, with the Reds manager desperately trying to fill the voids left by the exits of James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Fabinho.
The 27-year-old was apparently just ‘hours away’ from moving to Merseyside, but after talks were put on hold by his camp, LFC chiefs had a change of heart and instead opted to move for Ryan Gravenberch, who’s six years younger and ‘was viewed as a younger and better fit for Klopp’s needs’.
The Moroccan duly joined United on loan instead, but is still awaiting his debut for Erik ten Hag’s side.
In many instances, it’d be incredibly galling for Liverpool to have been on the cusp of making a player who Klopp had personally tried to lure to Anfield, only for him to then opt for our arch-rivals instead.
However, the Reds felt confident enough in Gravenberch’s ability and long-term potential to pull back from the pursuit of Amrabat and get a move for the Dutchman over the line on transfer deadline day.
The 21-year-old has had a gentle introduction on Merseyside, with his only start so far coming in the Europa League and his Premier League involvement restricted to two late substitute appearances (Transfermarkt).
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However, the ex-Bayern midfielder made a telling impact on his full debut, providing a superb assist for Luis Diaz to score Liverpool’s second goal in the 3-1 victory away to LASK, with his all-round performance catching the eye.
Whereas Amrabat is only at United on loan and already in his peak years, Gravenberch is Liverpool’s player outright and, at 21, offers far greater long-term potential and value.
Despite his phone calls coming to nought, Klopp won’t be losing any sleep about missing out on the Moroccan, having landed a very promising alternative in the Dutchman instead.