Marseille defender Duje Caleta-Car has confirmed Liverpool made a bid to sign him on deadline day – but he decided against the move.
The 24-year-old Croatian was targeted in the January window to help ease Liverpool’s injury crisis and solve their defensive problems.
In the end the Reds settled on landing Ben Davies from Preston and a short-term loan deal for Schalke’s Ozan Kabak.
However, it appears they missed out on their main target as Caleta-Car stayed put.
“Today, there is the Champions League, and I am going to watch the two games, I received an offer from Liverpool,” Caleta-Car said.
“It was an honour for me to know that such a club wanted me. We decided with the club that I was going to stay.
“Marseille is also a great club and I still have a lot of improving to do here.”
Caleta-Car is a first choice centre-back at Marseille, who are currently ninth in the French Ligue 1.
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It’s been an extremely interesting start to the season for Jurgen Klopp’s men.
They got their title defence off to a shaky start as they edged out a seven-goal thriller against Leeds, before going on to conceded seven in a hammering by Aston Villa.
Virgil van Dijk’s season was ended by injury in the 2-2 draw at Everton, leaving the title favourites looking far less secure at the back – especially with Alisson’s injury worries too.
But there’s no slowing down in what is going to be a busy campaign – with Klopp ensuring his men continue at full pace as they bid for more title glory.
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While he would have faced a battle to cement his place as a regular starter long-term, he would have undoubtedly played between now and the end of the season, giving him plenty of chance to stake a claim.
Instead, that opportunity has fallen more so to Kabak than Davies, as the Turkish international started in Saturday’s defeat to Leicester.
Sadly for Kabak, the afternoon didn’t go as he would have liked, as his mix-up with goalkeeper Adrian led to Leicester’s second goal.
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He was then caught napping as Harvey Barnes slipped in behind him to race clear and settle the fixture with the third goal.
Liverpool retain an option to buy Kabak at the end of his loan spell, but could dip back into the market if the 20-year-old fails to impress.
That could renew their interest in Caleta-Car, while Red Bull Leipzig’s Ibrahima Konate is also on their radar.