Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp proved the decisive factor over the Reds beating a trio of fellow suitors, including Tottenham and West Ham to a £52m signing, Fabrizio Romano has revealed.
The German has proved one of Liverpool’s most-successful ever managers, leading the club to three Champions League finals. He will also be fondly remembered as the man who helped end the club’s 30-year wait to become English champions.
Football, though, can be a fickle game and Liverpool’s inconsistent form this season saw heightening claims Klopp may be facing the sack.
Klopp, however, appears to have ridden that storm and plans for the future can continue at pace. Top of his list of targets in 2023 will be some new midfielders to replace a couple of departing stars. And top of his priorities are Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham.
Previous to that, Klopp has brought in three big-money attackers in recent times. Indeed, Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez have all arrived for combined fees that will total £177m.
All three have done well in their own right, though it is perhaps Diaz who has perhaps had the biggest impact. Signing in a £52m deal from FC Porto last January, he played a leading role for the Reds as they reached the Champions League final and pushed Manchester City all the way in the title race.
However, it may have been a different story for Diaz had he been persuaded to move elsewhere.
Fabrizio Romano on how Liverpool won Luis Diaz transfer race
“Liverpool got ahead of us in the signing of Luis Diaz,” Laporta said. “It is true we were very interested in him.
“We even got to talk with his agent, but they [Liverpool] already had advanced. We were also in an economic restructuring.
“He’s a great player who has a great sense of belonging to Liverpool and I’m not going to talk about him anymore.”
That has since been confirmed by Romano. And the trusted transfer guru claims Barca, West Ham and Tottenham also spoke out over deals for the Colombian.
And while Barca will have struggled to meet Porto’s asking price, the three Premier League sides all had the funds to do so.
Ultimately, though, the lure of Liverpool proved the strongest. And it seems Klopp has proved to the strongest factor in helping get his move to Liverpool over the line.
“My understanding is that Barcelona had conversations with the player’s agents but it was never got to an advanced stage between the clubs as Porto wanted a €60m package for him,” Romano told Caught Offside.
“There was also interest from others – Tottenham and West Ham were also pushing. But in the end Klopp and Liverpool’s plans made the difference.”
Diaz has scored 10 goals and has six assists for Liverpool in 37 appearances so far. The Reds paid an initial £37.5m fee for the star, with the eventual fee topping £52m.
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