Brendan Rodgers has revealed Liverpool were close to a deal for long-term target Dele Alli prior to his move from MK Dons to Tottenham.
Rodgers was given permission to speak to Alli and his parents after being encouraged by MK Dons manager Karl Robinson to take the exciting youngster to Anfield, and he says the midfielder wanted the move.
But the Reds could not agree a deal with the Dons and Alli, who was a boyhood Liverpool fan, instead signed for Tottenham, where he has thrived under head coach Mauricio Pochettino.
We revealed back in November how Liverpool’s transfer committee actually pulled out of a deal for the England star, which allowed Spurs to nip in.
Speaking to Goals on Sunday, Rodgers confirmed: “We thought we had him at Liverpool.
“The manager of MK Dons actually drove him down to us. They played a game on the Saturday and we were playing West Ham on the Sunday.
“We’d had contact with Dele, it was all above board, I was speaking with Karl Robinson and I spoke to Dele and his adoptive parents.
“Karl did really well with him and he came to me and said, ‘I’ve got a really exciting player, I’d love to see him at Liverpool’.
Alli this week signed a new five-year deal at Tottenham and Rodgers continued: “I spent a couple of hours in a hotel room with him and he wanted to come to Liverpool. It was all about getting the deal done with the club but unfortunately it never got done.
“On Saturday evening we thought it had got done but eventually he went to Tottenham, which was frustrating and disappointing. He’s done really well there.”