Ismaila Sarr’s agent has claimed that Liverpool had a blockbuster move for the Watford star lined up in January.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp appeared to be focused on his defence following injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez.
The Reds were also believed to be working on a tight budget with Klopp publicly voicing his frustration at club owners FSG.
Sarr has often been linked with a move to Anfield, though that appeared to be unlikely following Liverpool’s signing of Diogo Jota last summer.
Though Sarr’s agent, Thierno Seydi, has claimed a deal was close in January with Sadio Mane looking to find Sarr a place to live.
Seydi told Panafricanfootball: “With Liverpool, a few days ago, we were at the stage of signing the contract that would tie the Reds to Ismaila Sarr.
“Everything was sorted: the monthly wages and the length of the deal. I’d even asked Sadio Mane to find him an apartment.
“But in the end, the English club weren’t able to put the €40m on the table to finalise the affair.
“You have to say that if English clubs that once animated the transfer window are struggling to put funds together, that shows the depth of the crisis affecting football.”
Sarr had played in the same academy as Mane in Senegal and previously spoke highly of the current Liverpool star.
“Mane is not only a Senegal team-mate of mine but he is my inspiration and idol,” Sarr had said.
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“It will be perfect for me to play against him again. For me he is the best player in the world. For sure, the best African player in Europe.
“He’s our national team leader but he’s also a nice guy and I love him.”
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