Written By Onyeka Daniel
As Real Madrid prepare to take on Liverpool today to determine the winner of this season’s UEFA champions League, one of Real Madrid’s players could have been lining up for the English Premier League side instead if Jurgen Klopp had his way when he first took the Liverpool coaching job.
While Real Madrid have been able to count on the partnership of Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior, the impact Brazilian winger, Rodrygo Goes has had for the club can’t be overlooked.
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He has just 4 goals and 4 assists for the Los Blancos in the domestic League but he’s been very instrumental for them in the UCL.
Against PSG, Chelsea and Manchester City, the Brazilian was in the thick of action to rescue his team from the brink of defeat as they march to the final of the UCL. Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has revealed that he almost signed Real Madrid starlet Rodrygo for the club after searching ‘talents from Brazil’ on YouTube.
However, he was dealt a blow in his pursuit after an ex-Man City man blocked the move, paving the way for the former Santos starlet to sign for Real Madrid a year later.
Klopp was eager to recruit the Brazilian attacker for Liverpool during his first season at the club after looking him up on YouTube. The exciting winger was still working in his own country at the time, but Klopp was so much impressed that he travelled to Sao Paulo personally to monitor his progress.
“When Rodrygo went to sign his first professional contract with Santos, aged 16, a Liverpool director called me saying that Klopp already knew the player, had seen the material, had already come to see Rodrygo personally,” the player’s agent Nick Arcuri, explained to Canal do Nicola.
“He had gone on YouTube, searched ‘talents from Brazil’, Rodrygo had appeared and he was very young. “He came to Brazil and liked him. They contacted me, the Liverpool director wanted him to be his first signing, Rodrygo.”
Former City midfielder Elano was working as an assistant coach for Santos in early 2017 when he learned about Liverpool’s imminent low-cost acquisition. “I went to the board and said, ‘No, no, we can’t let him leave for this,'” Klopp told BBC Sport.
“It was a 3m euro offer only and the talks were already at an advanced stage. It was pretty much a done deal. They had a verbal agreement but I insisted, ‘We can’t do this’.
“He was just 16 years old back then and, although the team had high hopes for him, it was not clear yet when he would be playing for the senior side. So I went to Rodrygo and told him, ‘We will promote you soon. You have my word.’
“A little while after, I ended up taking charge as a caretaker manager and so, much sooner than expected, I could do what I had promised him. “I brought him to train with us and gave him his first minutes as a professional footballer.”
Rodrygo would eventually make his move to Europe a year later, signing for Real Madrid for a fee of €45 million, a significant rise from the €3 million they were ready to accept for him before.
Real Madrid are trying to stay focused on winning their 14th UCL title, hence are putting all their transfer activities on the back burner for the time being.
Just like they did with Mbappe, when they decided to focus all their attention on his acquisition. The Los Blancos plan to start their summer transfer activities once they’re done with tonight’s game.
According to Italian transfer expert, Fabrizio Romano, the Los Blancos will turn their attention to French midfielder, Aurelien Tchouameni after today and the knowledge that the player would prefer to join them.
This has given them some assurance over the deal as they look to beat Liverpool and PSG to his signature while also looking to bring down the overall transfer fee which is currently pegged at €80 million by Monaco.
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