Premier League • England

Rodrygo agent details Jurgen Klopp’s push to land star for Liverpool and why transfer failed

Real Madrid star Rodrygo

The agent of Real Madrid star Rodrygo, Nick Arcuri, has spoken about his client attracting interest from Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp in particular.

Rodrygo made 49 appearances for Brazilian outfit Santos, scoring 10 goals, after coming through their academy setup. His impressive performances in Brazil’s Serie A, coupled with his huge potential, soon alerted clubs in Europe.

A transfer to Real Madrid came next for the winger, who mainly operates on the right flank. Los Blancos paid Santos just over £38million to complete the deal.

Rodrygo was just 17 at the time. He spent another year at Santos to gain more experience before linking up with Real in 2019.

The starlet is currently enjoying his best campaign in the famous white shirt. He has found the net eight times in 44 outings so far, while also chipping in with nine assists for his team-mates.

Rodrygo was the hero for Carlo Ancelotti’s side against Manchester City on Wednesday night. He came off the bench in the 68th minute and went on to score twice late on, taking the Champions League semi-final tie to extra time.

Karim Benzema then won a penalty after beating Ruben Dias to the ball in the box. He stepped up to send Ederson the wrong way, completing a memorable turnaround for Real.

As such, they will take on Liverpool in the Champions League final on Saturday May 28.

Jurgen Klopp wanted Rodrygo at Anfield

But things could have been far different for Rodrygo. His representative claims Klopp was making a personal push for Liverpool to sign the Brazil international prior to Real winning the transfer chase.

“When Rodrygo went to sign his first professional contract with Santos, aged 16, a Liverpool director called me saying that Klopp already knew the player. [He] had seen the material, had already come to see Rodrygo personally,” Arcuri said on the Canal do Nicola YouTube channel.

“He had gone on YouTube, searched ‘talents from Brazil’, Rodrygo had appeared and he was very young.

“He came to Brazil and liked him. They contacted me, the Liverpool director wanted him to be his first signing, Rodrygo.”

Arcuri then revealed why Rodrygo didn’t end up starring in the Premier League with Liverpool.

“I went to England, sat in London, Liverpool have an office in London,” he added. “I brought the proposal to Modesto [Roma Junior], then president of Santos.

“Modesto didn’t accept. It turned out that Santos didn’t want to sell Rodrygo and instead made the first professional contract. But it was Rodrygo’s first official proposal, he was 16 and it was Liverpool.”

Ahead of the highly-anticipated UCL final, Liverpool star Mo Salah sent a message to Real in response to their 2018 clash.