Liverpool ducked out of signing Max Kruse at the last minute in 2019 due to Divock Origi’s Champions League exploits.
That is the verdict from Kruse himself, who was available in the summer of 2019 on a free after his Werder Bremen contract had ended.
Wagner said: “I know Liverpool made an offer to him.
“At first, I thought that a move to Fenerbahce is an unlikely one. But he choose Fenerbahce over Liverpool.”
However, not it transpires that it was Liverpool that pulled the plug on the transfer due to the form of Divock Origi.
The Belgian striker scored twice in the brilliant 4-0 comeback win against Barcelona in the semi-final before bagging one in the final win over Tottenham.
Those goals were enough to earn Origi a new Liverpool deal. The 25-year-old had entered the final 12 months of his Anfield contract, but he was offered a new long-term deal which he signed leaving Liverpool to opt against pursuing Kruse.
“Of course, I would have done that. In my opinion, it was relatively fixed. [Liverpool] actually wanted to give up two strikers,” he said on the Spieltagssiegerbesieger – Der Kickbase Podcast.
“Then one of the strikers scored goals in the Champions League semi-final and final. Then it was over. At that moment it was disappointing.”
Kruse, who had scored 11 times for the Bundesliga outfit, ended up moving to Turkish side Fenerbahce.
The 32-year-old scored seven goals in 23 games, but moved back to Germany with Union Berlin 12 months later.
Carragher: Origi not good enough
Origi meanwhile, went on to score six goals in 42 appearances last term en route to the Premier League title.
Origi has scored just once in 15 appearances this season and Jamie Carragher does not believe the forward is of the right calibre for the champions.
He told the Super Six podcast: “If you look at Liverpool’s attacking players they don’t have a striker. Jota is not a striker, same with Mane, same with Salah.
“They have Divock Origi but he’s nowhere near good enough. And he a lot of the time plays out wide, because he can’t play as a centre-forward.
“Liverpool definitely need to bring a goalscorer in,” added Carragher. “I don’t know exactly what position for, whether that’s a centre-forward or a midfielder.”