Marseille starlet Maxime Lopez says that Liverpool approached him and offered him the chance to replace Philippe Coutinho in the future.
The 19-year-old Lopez has enjoyed a breakthrough season for Marseille this season, making 21 Ligue 1 appearances, scoring one and managing five assists.
The attacking midfielder, who has come through the OM ranks, was linked with Liverpool, Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Arsenal last year and he says that the former offered him a move to Anfield.
“They [Liverpool] said to me, ‘in five years you get Coutinho’s place’,” he told L’Equipe, translated by Sport Witness.
“They approached me in a good way. I even met Steven Gerrard at the stadium after a game.
“I wanted to go there, but also to stay at Marseille. To go like that, at this age and even with your family, is very hard.
“I had noticed that they had thirty young professional players, not to mention the incumbents. You really have to be mentally prepared.”
Lopez though last month penned a new contract with Marseille, tying him down until June 2021.
OM president Jacques-Henri Eyraud said: “Maxime Lopez’s extension is a strong symbol for all of us.
“He is a young, talented player who is very appreciated by the fans, and to whom we want to give a chance to develop into a man at the foundation of our sporting project.
“Beyond that, the message we want to send to the young Marseille players is that everything is possible with Marseille.”