The French talent wanted Champions League football, as well a familiarity with his gaffer.
This summer Liverpool saw themselves linked with a move for talented Frenchman Lucas Digne. The left-back had been struggling for first-team football at Paris Saint-Germain and was keen on a move away from the French capital this summer, in order to boost his chances of playing for France at a home European Championships next summer.
In the end he decided to join his former Lille boss Rudi Garcia at Italian Serie A powerhouse AS Roma on loan until the end of the season, with a permanent option written into the deal.
Digne, who cost PSG £10.5 million in 2013 as reported by Goal, has now explained why he decided to head to Italy despite confirming offers from elsewhere.
He is quoted by The Express as revealing the importance of Garcia in his decision, and the role of Champions League football:
“Rudi Garcia has played an important role because I know him from Lille, he really wanted me at Roma.
“Other teams also wanted me but I quickly chose Roma, playing in the Champions League was a big factor.”
This should serve as a warning to Liverpool. Failure to qualify for the Champions League last season seems to have given them no hope of snapping up this player. They did manage to complete a plethora of other deals without Champions League football as a tempter but they must find their way back into Europe’s elite competition this season if they want to be at the feeding table for Europe’s best talent.