Liverpool had agreed all the major details of a contract for Ismaila Sarr before backing away from a £35million deal in September, according to the winger’s agent.
The Reds came into the summer transfer window looking to find marquee support for their front three.
Several names surfaced throughout the window, including Watford’s Sarr and Samuel Chukwueze of Villarreal.
However, Liverpool eventually opted to bring in Diogo Jota from Wolves in a £41million deal. Indeed, the 24-year-old‘s arrival came only a day after Jurgen Klopp added Bayern Munich’s Thiago Alcantara to his ranks.
Nevertheless, Sarr’s agent has now revealed how close Liverpool came to spending £35million on his client. Thierno Seydi also revealed how he got the Senegalese‘s compatriot, Sadio Mane, involved.
“With Liverpool, we were at the stage of signing the contract to bind the Reds to Ismaila Sarr,” the agent told Pan African Football.
“Everything was set, the monthly salary and the length of the deal. I even asked Sadio Mane to find him an apartment.
“But in the end, the English club were unable to put 40m euros on the table to finalise the deal.”
Liverpool may have paid more to sign Jota, but Wolves agreed to accept only 10 per cent of the Portuguese’s fee in the first year of his contract.
As such, Seydi pointed out how Liverpool’s financial reluctance over Sarr mirrored the picture across Europe. What’s more, such unwillingness to spend spilled over into one of the quietest January windows on record.
Liverpool not alone with financial struggles
“In other words, if the English clubs, which once dominated the transfer window, have difficulty raising funds. This reflects the depth of the crisis affecting football,” Seydi said.
“Today, the damage is immeasurable with the financial and economic crisis facing clubs.
“Almost all clubs are in the red.”
Seydi also revealed that Manchester United made a loan enquiry to Watford for Sarr. However, the Hornets refused to accept its terms.
While Liverpool passed on the 22-year-old, Jota made a flying start to his Anfield career. He scored five goals in his first nine Premier League games, while netting a Champions League hat-trick at Atalanta.