Jurgen Klopp was desperate to bring a Brazil star to Liverpool and made a personal trip to South America to watch the player in action, according to a leading agent.
The player in question is winger Rodrygo, whom Klopp had high on his wanted list back in 2017 when the player was just 16 years of age and was starting to make his way in the game with Santos.
Indeed, according to agent Nick Arcur, Klopp even travelled to Brazil to watch the teenager in action before officials from Liverpool made contact with his then club Santos over a prospective deal.
However, Liverpool and Klopp were ultimately left disappointed as Rodrygo eventually agreed a €45million transfer to Real Madrid in 2018, with the player eventually hooking up with Zinedine Zidane’s side on his 18th birthday in July 2019.
But the player remains one who got away for the Merseysiders, with Arcur revealing exactly how desperate Klopp was to pinching the youngster from under Real’s noses.
Speaking with Brazilian journalist Jorge Nicola during a live chat, and as translated by Sport Witness, Arcur revealed: “When Rodrygo went to make his first professional contract with Santos, aged 16, a Liverpool director called me. He said that Klopp already knew the player, had seen the material, had already come to see Rodrygo personally.
“He had entered YouTube, searched ‘talents from Brazil’, Rodrygo had appeared and he was very young. He came to Brazil, liked him.”
Arcur added: “They contacted me, the Liverpool director wanted him to be his first signing, Rodrygo. I went to England, sat in London, Liverpool have an office in London.
“I brought the proposal to Modesto, then president of Santos. Modesto didn’t accept.
“It was Rodrygo’s sale so when he turned 18 he’d go to Liverpool. It turned out that Santos didn’t want to sell Rodrygo and made the first professional contract. So it was Rodrygo’s first official proposal, he was 16 and it was Liverpool.”
Liverpool’s loss has, it seems, proved to be Real Madrid’s gain with the now 19-year-old making an impressive start to life at the Bernabei.
The player was handed his debut against Osasuna back in September and scored his first goal for the club within a minute. Then in November, the player served notice of his abilities with a Champions League hat-trick in a 6-0 demolition of Galatasaray, becoming the second youngest player to achieve this in the competition’s history.
His record for Real now stands at seven goals in 18 appearances for Los Blancos with four assists to his name.