‘At the time…’ – 21y/o explains why he pulled the plug on Liverpool transfer en route to medical

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It takes a lot of nerve to back out of a proposed transfer to Liverpool right before going for a medical, but that’s exactly what one player did in the opening weeks of 2022.

Fabio Carvalho eventually got his move to Anfield later that year, but in an interview with the Liverpool Echo, he explained his reasons for pulling the plug on a January deal, despite an agreement being struck whereby he’d sign for the Reds permanently and be loaned straight back to Fulham.

The 21-year-old revealed that he knew of LFC’s interest prior to the winter transfer window, but it only ‘started to get serious’ in the week leading up to the deadline.

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He added: “It was literally only on deadline day when I went to do the medical. At the time, it just didn’t feel right. It felt a bit rushed, so I said I don’t want to do it, because it didn’t feel right.

“‘We’ll continue talking, we’ll continue having conversations,’ because obviously I did want to join Liverpool. They are one of the biggest clubs in the world, but at the time it just didn’t feel right doing it there and then.

“Credit to Liverpool, they understood where I was coming from and were so good with managing it. We just kept in contact and made it happen in the summer.

“There was no point rushing it. If I’m still going to be at Fulham. I just wanted to make sure I ended the season strongly and on a high, which I did. Things turned out how they turned out.”

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Carvalho deserves huge credit for having the courage to go with his gut and opt out of the transfer if it ‘didn’t feel right’, as part of him must’ve been worried that he may have blown his one and only chance to get his desired move to Liverpool.

Thankfully for him, the Reds remained determined to land him and ultimately did, while the player ensured that he’d leave Fulham on good terms by staying on to help them earn an immediate return to the Premier League.

Although his first season at Anfield faded hugely after a very promising start, an excellent loan spell at Hull City in the opening months of 2024 appears to have opened the window to getting a second chance on Merseyside under new management.

Carvalho will hope that he can do enough in pre-season to be given regular opportunities throughout the forthcoming campaign, rather than experiencing a repeat of the false dawn of autumn 2022.

Liverpool didn’t give up on him when he backed out of that initial move nearly two-and-a-half years ago, and it doesn’t look like they will now following his producive time out on loan with the Tigers. The 21-year-old needs to make the most of any opportunity that he’s given under Arne Slot from July onwards.

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