A Real Madrid star's agent has revealed in remarkable detail how close Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool came to signing his client, who is now one of the world's most exciting footballing prospects.
At the beginning of the season, Real splashed €45 million (R911 million) to sign Brazil wonderkid Rodrygo from Santos, but the 19-year-old could have been a Liverpool player had things worked out differently.
According to the player's agent Nick Arcuri, the Reds approached Santos when Rodrygo was 16-years-old in an attempt to strike a deal, with Klopp having personally flown out to Brazil in order to get the ball rolling.
"When Rodrygo went to make his first professional contract with Santos, aged 16, a Liverpool director called me," Arcuri said, as reported by the Liverpool Echo.
"(He said) that Klopp already knew the player, had seen the material, had already come to see Rodrygo personally. He had entered YouTube, searched 'talents from Brazil', Rodrygo had appeared and he was very young. He came to Brazil, liked him.
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"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 (Roma), then president of Santos.
"Modesto didn't accept. It was Rodrygo's sale so when he turned 18, he'd go to Liverpool (but) it turned out that Santos didn't want to sell (him) and made the first professional contract. So that was Rodrygo's first official proposal, he was 16 and it was Liverpool."
The two-capped Brazil international has scored seven goals in 18 appearances for Los Blancos this season, including a hat-trick in the UEFA Champions League that made him the second-youngest player ever to score a treble in the competition.
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