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Arne Slot denies Liverpool tried to hijack transfer for player tipped to be 'best in the world'

KIRKBY, ENGLAND - JULY 05: (THE SUN OUT. THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT)  New Head Coach Arne Slot at his first press conference at AXA Training Centre on July 05, 2024 in Kirkby, England.
-Credit: (Image: Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)


New Liverpool head coach Arne Slot is inevitably going to be rumored to be signing Feyenoord players galore this summer. He took the Dutch club to the highest points total in its history, so was clearly able to get a fine tune out of the current squad.

After Lutsharel Geertruida was pictured among Reds fans at West Ham, it was widely assumed he might be on his way to Anfield. Nothing has happened there, and Slot will not be followed to Merseyside by midfielder Mats Wieffer either.

The 24-year-old has joined Brighton, a career path which is usually a reliable guide to a player’s quality. Not that the new Liverpool boss needs to learn anything about the Dutch international in that sense, of course.

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"Mats Wieffer has made a mega leap in terms of development. I can really enjoy that,” Slot once told Voetbal International. “So big that, if he does that again, he will become the best player in the world. That is of course unrealistic, for any footballer. But Mats can get even better,” he added.

High praise indeed. With such a glowing opinion of the player, it is something of a surprise that Slot has not tried to bring Wieffer with him to Liverpool.

Indeed, a report in De Telegraaf claimed the Reds made a move for the player once it became clear he was on his way to Brighton and made a direct offer to his representatives, although it was ultimately too late.

Whether Slot was aware of this specific story or not is unclear, but he denied having had any contact with Wieffer when speaking to 1908 about the midfielder’s move to the Amex Stadium. "I think it's especially nice for him. "When you see where he comes from. That two years after he came from Excelsior, he can make the step to the Premier League. That's great for him,” he said.

"It's fantastic for him, but also for Feyenoord, because it's the biggest transfer in the club's history. No, I haven't spoken to Mats. I really like to meet him, but I hope he doesn't want to prove too much to his old trainer,” Slot added. Liverpool host Brighton on the weekend of November 2 so the pair can catch up then.

Liverpool.com says: Wherever the truth lies between these conflicting stories, it's easy to at least imagine Liverpool wanting to sign a defensive midfielder with Wieffer's profile. If he has a good first season with Brighton, the rumors will no doubt fire up again next summer.