After failing to sign Timo Werner from RB Leipzig, Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp reached out to then-Lille striker Victor Osimhen to see whether a deal would be possible.
Klopp is eager to bolster his forward line this summer and had Werner as his top target, but a reluctance to meet the German’s £50m release clause allowed Chelsea to swoop in and strike a deal to bring Werner to Stamford Bridge.
Liverpool have been on the lookout for an alternative ever since, and L’Équipe state that Osimhen found himself on Klopp’s radar before his blockbuster move to Napoli.
Klopp is understood to have spoken to Osimhen on the phone, as did Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, which is why the Nigerian’s move to Napoli stalled momentarily. Osimhen changed his agent in what was perceived as an attempt to negotiate a move to England, but no such transfer was forthcoming.
Liverpool’s hesitance to shell out £50m on Werner meant that any move for Osimhen was always unlikely. Napoli paid an initial £45m to land the Nigerian in a deal which could rise to £72m, although that cost was balanced out by four players moving in the opposite direction.
The Reds weren’t the only side interested in landing Osimhen. Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal are both believed to have sent scouts to monitor the 21-year-old, who bagged 18 goals in his debut season in France.
However, Napoli moved fastest and ensured they did whatever it took to lure Osimhen, who has been touted as ‘the next Didier Drogba’, to Stadio San Paolo.
As for Liverpool, their search for attacking reinforcements continues. The likes of Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Adama Traoré and Watford’s Ismaïla Sarr have been touted as potential options, but the cost of either deal is expected to be a problem for Liverpool.
The Reds’ financial situation is expected to improve as the summer goes on, with a large part of the problem being the uncertainty surrounding the post-coronavirus economy, rather than a lack of money itself.
They may end up needing to spend a fair bit of money as there are doubts over the futures of Xherdan Shaqiri, Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi, and losing any of that group would leave Klopp in need of more backup.
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