Liverpool launched an ambitious late move to try and lure Samuel Umtiti from Barcelona, according to a reliable source.
The champions were eventually forced into the transfer market on deadline day after a crippling injury list.
Jurgen Klopp was already without Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk long-term when Joel Matip and Fabinho were added to the list of injuries.
There was initial hope that Matip would recover quickly from an ankle problem. However it was realised behind the scenes that Matip’s ligament problem would keep him out for the rest of the season.
The Reds kept the news quiet until both Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak had signed for the club on February 1.
The move for Preston’s Davies came as a surprise, while the deal for Kabak had been mooted for some time. The seriousness of Klopp’s injury list though forced their hand into a move.
Kabak arrived at Anfield to much fanfare after signing on loan for £1m with an option to buy for a further £18m.
However, German outlet Kicker say the Merseyside giants may have been duped into signing the youngster.
Whether or not Kabak was top of Michael Edwards’ shopping list is unclear. Already Sport Mediaset have claimed Liverpool’s main target on deadline day was Juventus star Merih Demiral.
And now, according to The Athletic, Liverpool also contacted Barcelona to find out about the availability of centre-back Umtiti.
The 27-year-old is out of favour at the Camp Nou. In fact he has made just three starts in LaLiga this season. He has been plagued by injury problems, but has started the last three league games.
Apparently the former Lyon man was not keen on leaving Barcelona mid-season and is still chasing trophies in Catalonia.
Demiral a contender
According to reports from Italy Liverpool’s main target on deadline day was Demiral. The Turkey international is still trying to force his way back into contention with Juventus after a long-term injury of his own last season.
The 22-year-old has only started six of Juventus’ first 19 games in Serie A this season. Hence, Liverpool would have been able to offer him more gametime.
The report claims Liverpool put a €57m offer on the table for Demiral. During the current economic climate, that was “tempting” for Juventus.
However, the Serie A champions still turned it down and showed no signs of wanting to negotiate.
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