Big Transfers That Liverpool Missed Out On
Liverpool’s public climbdown over their attempts to sign Virgil Van Dijk is the latest in a long line of big transfer deals that the club have missed out on under Fenway Sports Group.
They seem to have dodged a bullet with some, while most of the others they failed to sign have gone on to great things at the clubs they eventually ended up at.
Transfer Deadline day in August 2012, and it seemed Liverpool had the signature of Fulham striker Clint Dempsey all wrapped up. Except they hadn’t.
Brendan Rodgers was left stunned after club bosses failed to sanction a fee of more than £3 million for the American, despite offloading Andy Carroll to West Ham on loan.
Dempsey joined Tottenham instead at the last-minute for around £6 million, but managed just seven goals at Spurs before returning to the MLS a year later with Seattle Sounders. It is unlikely the former Liverpool boss would have signed Daniel Sturridge the following January if Dempsey’s transfer had gone through.
Liverpool apparently made the first approach for the Brazilian in 2013, before being gazumped by Tottenham, and then Chelsea.
Rodgers believed that the former Shakhtar Donestsk midfielder did not turn down Liverpool for footballing reasons – hinting that his preference for Chelsea came down to money.
Despite doubts about where he’d fit in at Stamford Bridge, with a squad brimming with creative midfielders, Willian has played an important part of Jose Mourinho’s title-wining side during his second spell at the club. Such was his impact that Juan Mata was allowed leave for Manchester United just months after the Brazilian arrived. He went on to win Chelsea’s Player of the Year during their subsequently disastrous 2015/16 campaign.
Yet another deal that Liverpool seemed to have sealed, only to falter at the finishing line, Remy’s £8.5 million switch from QPR collapsed due to a failed medical.
However, any health concerns didn’t worry the aforementioned Mourinho who snapped him up shortly afterwards as back-up to Diego Costa. Injuries have scuppered his stay at Stamford Bridge and he spent the majority of last season in the treatment room after picking up an injury on loan at Crystal Palace.
The capture of the Armenian was one of Brendan Rodgers’ main priorities in the summer of 2013, but again he lost out despite matching Shakhtar Donetsk’s asking price.
The midfielder instead joined Borussia Dortmund, citing their style of play as the key factor in his decision. Ironically, it was current Pool boss Jurgen Klopp who talked Mkhitaryan out of a move to Anfield, interrupting a holiday to convince the midfielder to join him instead at Westfalenstadion.
It looks like Liverpool’s recent move to Roma’s Mohamed Salah has also stalled, with the club allegedly unwilling to meet the Serie A side’s asking price.
The Egyptian winger wanted a move to Anfield in 2014 but both he and his club Basel felt Liverpool’s offer of £8 million showed a lack of respect for his talents. Liverpool’s parsimonious approach in the transfer market may not have changed much in the intervening years, but they still may end up shelling out four times their 2014 offer to finally capture the 24-year-old.
He was another to move to Chelsea instead, for around £3 million more, but struggled to make an impact at Stamford Bridge. He made just 13 appearances for Mourinho’s side before moving to Italy, enjoying a loan spell at Fiorentina before his move to Rome.
Liverpool’s famed transfer committee must have hated the sight of Chelsea. They seemed to do all the groundwork on players before being gazumped at the last minute by their London counterparts.
Costa admitted he was open to a move to Anfield in 2013, only for the club’s bid of £20 million to be rejected by Atletico Madrid.
The transfer committee must rue their characteristically low offer as the Spanish international has netted 52 goals in three Premier League seasons at Stamford Bridge, but looks set to depart this summer.
Brendan Rodgers earmarked the Chilean as the perfect replacement for Luis Suarez and it seems remiss of Liverpool not to try and secure his signature as part of the Uruguayan’s sale.
For once, it seemed Liverpool had outbid their transfer rivals but Barcelona took a hit of £3 million as Sanchez favoured a move to Arsenal. Rodgers put it down to where “player and his family wanted to choose to live”, and he’s certainly been a hit in London – winning Arsenal’s Player of the Year award in two of his three seasons, while bagging 53 league goals.