Premier League leaders Liverpool tried and failed to bring Rodrygo Goes to Anfield before he joined Zinedine Zidane’s La Liga giants Real Madrid.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp travelled to Brazil to meet Real Madrid wonderkid Rodrygo Goes in person before the former Santos wonderkid moved to the Spanish capital instead, agent Nick Acruri has told Nicola’s Channel on YouTube.
This is not the first time Liverpool’s interest in one of world football’s most exciting young talents has been revealed.
Back in November, Rodrygo’s former Santos coach Elano (he of Manchester City fame) admitted to ESPN that the Merseyside giants had once shown ‘serious interest’ in bringing a Samba starlet to Anfield.
And the 19-year-old’s agent has now shed more light on the situation, explaining the lengths Klopp went to in order to lure the two-time Brazil international to England.
“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,” Acruri claims.
“He had gone on YouTube, searched ‘talents from Brazil’, Rodrygo had appeared and he was very young. He came to Brazil, and Klopp liked him.
“They contacted me, the Liverpool director wanted him to be his first signing, Rodrygo. I went to England, sat in London, Liverpool have an office in London. I brought the proposal to Modesto, then president of Santos.
“Modesto didn’t accept. It turned out that Santos didn’t want to sell Rodrygo and instead made the first professional contract. But it was Rodrygo’s first official proposal, he was 16 and it was Liverpool.”
It just so happens, however, that Real Madrid were able to twist Santos’s arm not long after that with a deal worth a staggering £40 million simply too good to turn down. This dazzling teenager has gone on to play 18 games during an impressive breakthrough season at the Santiago Bernabau, making a name for himself in Europe too with a perfect hat-trick in the Champions League thrashing of Galatasaray last year.
But considering that Klopp has an almost unrivalled track record when it comes to turning young players into superstars, time will tell whether Rodrygo would have been better off at Liverpool.