Liverpool ‘made late £86m bid’ to sign Madrid star Fede Valverde

Jurgen Klopp admits Liverpool are in ‘a difficult period’ after Napoli humbling

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Liverpool made a ‘brutal’ late summer transfer window attempt to sign Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde, according to reports in the Spanish press. Jurgen Klopp was desperate for midfield reinforcements last month but failed to strengthen his squad in the final days of the window. 

Their desire to sign a new midfielder apparently prompted a pursuit of Uruguayan Valverde, who has impressed in La Liga. It was from the 24-year-old’s cross that Vinicius Jnr scored the Champions League-winning goal against the Reds in May. 

On August 31 and September 1, Liverpool reportedly made a ‘brutal’ attempt to prise Valverde away from the La Liga champions. The Anfield transfer hierarchy offered a whopping £86million deal that would have smashed their transfer record. 

However, Madrid were not keen to sell Valverde as they see him as a star of the current generation, in addition to a player who can continue to make a big impact in future. The sale of Casemiro to Manchester United was also a big factor in Los Blancos rejecting Liverpool’s offer. 

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That is according to Spanish publication AS, who claim that Liverpool made a ‘brutal offensive’ to sign Valverde. An up-front £86m fee would have broken Liverpool’s record for a transfer fee, with the outlay of around a similar figure put towards Darwin Nunez including plenty of add-ons. 

The deal would also have been Madrid’s the second-highest fee Madrid have ever received. The biggest is the £100m Juventus paid for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2018. 

Liverpool boss Klopp is known to be “obsessed” with Valverde, according to an old report by Spanish-language publication Nacional. The German entered the final days of the transfer window wanting to sign a midfielder due to an injury crisis at Anfield. 

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Thiago Alcantara, Naby Keita, Jordan Henderson, Curtis Jones and Fabinho have all missed parts of the season due to injury. Klopp initially denounced any more summer signings following the arrival of striker Nunez, but later reneged when he realised his ageing midfield options were struggling to cope with the packed 2022-23 schedule. 

Liverpool eventually signed former Barcelona midfielder Arthur Melo on loan from Juventus. The Brazilian is yet to make his debut for the club, and could appear in Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Ajax. 

The Reds did not include an option to buy Arthur in the deal, despite him being surplus to requirements with his parent club. That would suggest that the 26-year-old does not have a long-term future on Merseyside. 

Klopp is hoping that Liverpool’s poor form is halted against Ajax, having seen his side thumped 4-1 by Napoli last week. Liverpool have won just two of their seven matches across all competitions this season. 

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