Liverpool capitalized on Man Utd transfer mistake that cost them Stefan Bajcetic signing

Liverpool's Stefan Bajcetic
-Credit: (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

Liverpool's young star Stefan Bajcetic could have been playing for Manchester United, had the Red Devils not tried to lower his price tag.

The promising midfielder, who shone in an otherwise disappointing 2022/23 season, was approached by United while still at Celta Vigo. However, a disagreement over the transfer fee led to the deal falling through, and Liverpool swooped in to sign the then 17 year old. It is said that United initially agreed to bring the defensive midfielder, who can also play centre-back, to Carrington in 2020.

But when former football negotiations manager Sam Barnett asked Bajcetic's father to remove his son from Celta Vigo to reduce the compensation fee to $108,000, he refused. Consequently, the young defender ended up joining Liverpool.

READ MORE: Jurgen Klopp openly flirts with next job as he makes feelings on USA clear
READ MORE: Liverpool 'has Leny Yoro transfer advantage' over Real Madrid and Man Utd as contract decision made

Lyndon Tomlinson, ex-head of academy recruitment assistant at United, told The Athletic that they may have missed out on a bargain with Bajcetic.

He remarked: "United still needed a centre-back. So we went to the next one on the list: ‘Well, we’re gonna have to go and watch him, which will cost money’. Then we got to about fourth on the list, and we said, ‘Look, they’re on the list to give context, but we’re not confident of going and paying money for one of those’.”

Since Bajcetic's last stint in Liverpool's midfield, there's been quite the transformation. He was sidelined with a calf injury back in September, which ruled him out until April.

Bajcetic suffered a calf injury last season
-Credit:No credit

The Reds bolstered their midfield options significantly over the summer, bringing in talents like Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai, Wataru Endo, and Ryan Gravenberch, and they're not stopping therewith another midfield acquisition on the horizon this transfer window.

Fully fit again, Bajcetic is eager to make an impact under the guidance of new boss Arne Slot. However, things could have panned out very differently for the young midfielder; he was close to joining a different Dutch manager at Old Trafford before that move fell through.