Former Marseille manager admits Liverpool nearly signed the 'next Samir Nasri'

Samir Nasri Marseille

The Reds have enough talented playmakers at the moment but they would have had one of the next best had the deal gone through.

Former Marseille boss Jose Anigo has admitted that Liverpool were very close to signing highly-rated Frenchman Maxime Lopez during Brendan Rodger’s reign on Merseyside, Foot Mercato reports.

The 18-year-old was given his first start for the Ligue 1 giants by new coach Rudi Garcia during the 0-0 stalemate with Bordeaux recently, impressing with his dynamic approach in the centre of the park and standing out in a one-paced midfield.

Marseille’s renowned youth academy has dried up in recent seasons, meaning Lopez is arguably the most exciting talent to originate from within the ranks of the 1993 Champions League winners since a certain Samir Nasri over a decade ago.

Samir Nasri Marseille

And former coach Anigo has revealed that Rodgers was very keen adding him to his already talented roster during the 2013/14 season, inviting the then-16-year-old to travell to Anfield and sample a Merseyside derby to whet his appetite for a potential career in English football.

“The boy was about to sign with them,” Anigo said in quotes reported by Foot Mercato. “I was lucky enough to know his uncle, Ahmed, and his parents came to talk, openly and honestly, with me.”

Jose Anigo

For whatever reason, Lopez to Liverpool failed to become a reality, though the teenage midfielder is likely to remain firmly entrenched in the confines of the gossip columns if he continues to impress in his breakthrough season in Ligue 1.

Furthermore, with Jurgen Klopp showing a refreshing willingness to give young players the platform to perform, Lopez would at least be comforted in the fact that he would be guaranteed an opportunity on Merseyside, especially now new Marseille owner Frank McCourt is pledging to invest huge sums into the club in order to bring some of Europe’s top talents to the South of France.

Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp

It remains to be seen what impact this has on the development of the talented ‘number 10’.

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