Liverpool has made a number of high-caliber player acquisitions over the years. The agreements that fell through the cracks are what we’re focusing on today.
In 2003, when Cristiano Ronaldo was still playing professionally in Portugal for Sporting Lisbon, Liverpool considered signing him. The 18-year-old’s wage demands, however, were deemed too exоrbitant by manager Gerrard Hollier.
“I saw [Ronaldo] in the Toulon under-21 tournament and we went for him,” he explained. However, we had a compensation range and couldn’t afford to give him what he was asking for. When Manchester United played Sporting Lisbon in a friendly, the Lisbon team urged Sir Alex Ferguson to sign the Manchester United player. However, I did agree that the pay scale should remain unchanged. I was afraid it would create chaos in our locker room.
The rest, as they sаy, is history as he signed a long-term contract with Premier League champions Manchester United that same year.
The Dele Alli
In 2015, Liverpool was close to signing Dele Alli, but he ultimately decided to join with Tottenham instead. He was a bright young player at MK Dons who had gained the attention of the Reds’ scouts.
Liverpool had an agreement in place for him to sign with them before Tottenham made a bid, but Spurs ultimately presented a more attractive package.
Liverpool’s then-manager Brendan Rodgers describes what happened. “We thought we had him at Liverpool,” Rodgers stated.
The MK Dons manager even drove him down to see us. We were scheduled to play West Ham the following day, while they were playing on Saturday. I spoke with Karl Robinson and we had contacted Dele; I also spoke with Dele and his adoptive parents.
“Karl did a great job with him, and he came to me and said, ‘I’ve got a really exciting player, and I’d love to see him at Liverpool,'” I said.
I hung out with him for a few hours in a hotel room, and he expressed interest in visiting Liverpool. The arrangement with the club was crucial, but it fell through at the last minute.
everything was frustrated and disappointed that on Saturday night we thought everything was done, only for him to leave for Tottenham the next day. He has excelled in that role.
An Alves, Dani
One of the best fullbacks of all time, Dani Alves, almost joined Liverpool in 2006, but the club was unable to sign him due to financial difficulties. The team was in financial trouble and could only afford to invest £10 million on a new right winger.
Former manager Rafa Benitez chose Dirk Kuyt over Alves when they both were available to fill the void. Benitez was hoping to sign both players, but Liverpool’s financial problems prevented that. Two years later, Alves joined Barcelona, where he played for nearly a decade and became a legend.
“We looked at Dani Alves, but he was a right full-back,” Benitez explained. You have to decide between signing a guy that can play as a striker, second striker, and right winger, and signing a full back from Brazil who is now playing in Spain. The stakes are high.
It was written by David Silva.
The choice of Kuyt over Alves was not terrible, but Benitez must be kicking himself for signing £17 million flop Alberto Aquilani instead of David Silva. After Real Madrid signed Xabi Alonso in the summer of 2009, Benitez was charged with finding a replacement.
Benitez thought Silva too expensive and instead signed Aquilani from Roma for almost half the price. Silva’s hometown club Valencia wаnted £30m for him, the same amount Liverpool had got from Real Madrid for Alonso.
The next year, Silva signed for Manchester City, where he spent the next decade becoming one of the best players in England’s Premier League and winning four Premier League titles.
Aquilani, meanwhile, was only used 28 times by Liverpool during two forgettable years.
… Diego Costa
When offered a contract with Liverpool in 2013, Diego Costa opted to stay with Atletico Madrid instead. Costa had worked hard to break into Atleti’s first team, but despite the Reds matching his £21 million release clause, he opted to stay.
At one point, “I was close to leaving Atletico,” Costa said to the Sunday People. Liverpool are a fantastic team, but I couldn’t leave Atletico after working so hard to earn my spot there. I felt it was crucial to continue developing as a player and spending a lot of time with Atletico.
A year later, Costa signed for Chelsea, where he has since played some of his finest soccer. Over the course of three seasons in the Premier League, he scored 52 goals in 89 games and won the championship on two occasions.