Liverpool made a “monstrous” bid for Juventus defender Merih Demiral on deadline day, reports in Italy claim.
After long-term injuries to all three of their main centre-back options – Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip – Liverpool needed to bring in reinforcements at the back.
The champions opted for Ben Davies from Preston and Ozan Kabak from Schalke. Davies signed a permanent contract, while Kabak joined on loan with an option to buy.
The latter was the headline addition, as he has experience of top-flight football in Germany. At the age of 20, he is a particularly intriguing prospect.
It will cost Liverpool a further £18m to the £1m they have paid for his loan if they wish to sign him at the end of the season.
But it appears they were willing to spend much more on a different defensive target – only to be turned down.
According to Sport Mediaset, Liverpool’s main target on deadline day was Demiral. The Turkey international is still trying to force his way back into contention with Juventus after a long-term injury of his own last season.
The 22-year-old has only started six of Juventus’ first 19 games in Serie A this season. Hence, Liverpool would have been able to offer him more gametime.
The report claims Liverpool put a €57m offer on the table for Demiral. During the current economic climate, that was “tempting” for Juventus.
However, the Serie A champions still turned it down and showed no signs of wanting to negotiate.
Kabak was plan B
Juventus are preparing for a future beyond Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci. Therefore, they still need Demiral for the future.
Consequently, they bluntly refused Liverpool’s offer, forcing them to turn to Kabak instead.
Demiral’s international teammate was cheaper to acquire. Therefore, Liverpool focused their energies on signing him instead.
They will be hoping that Kabak repays their faith during the second half of the season. He will likely have a big role to play.