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“Stong negotiation”- Former Santos boss admits Liverpool were close to incredible transfer

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Liverpool ‘negotiated’ for Rodrygo when he was still at Santos

According to ESPN (h/t Liverpoolecho), Former Santos boss Elano claimed that Liverpool was ‘close’ to signing Rodrygo when he was still playing in Brazil. 

Rodrygo signed for Real Madrid in 2018 for a fee of €45million and has since become one of the most promising young prospects in the world. He was a reliable option for Zinedine Zidane in case he faced concerns with his usual forward line. 

The current manager Carlo Ancelotti has also shown his support for the youngster and has been giving him regular minutes to prove his worth. 

Liverpool 'negotiated' for Rodrygo when he was still at Santos.
Liverpool negotiated for Rodrygo long before any interest from Real Madrid.

Elano stated that Liverpool ‘negotiated strongly’ for the Brazilian and were very close to signing the player. Although the offered value was far lower than the Madrid team proposed, the player was convinced to play for Jurgen Klopp. 

“There was a period when there was a very strong negotiation from Liverpool for him to leave when he was still very young. The values were very low, but he wanted to go. Real’s offer later was around 30 million euros (around £25m) more.”

The former Manchester City player added that he had a role in convincing the Santos management to keep the player and bet on his long term future.

“I had a conversation with people at Santos, and I said that the boy was worth the bet and we should raise him because I would like to work with him.”

Liverpool 'negotiated' for Rodrygo when he was still at Santos
Rodrygo in action for Santos.

Earlier last year, Rodrygo’s agent Nick Arcuri claimed that Jurgen Klopp went to Brazil to analyse the young winger closely. It seems the German manager found the player while surfing YouTube videos by the search term ‘talents from Brazil.’

“When Rodrygo went to make 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.”

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A young player like Rodrygo, who showed rapid growth, could have been a significant future investment for our team going forward. The Reds’ frontline is not getting any younger and an infusion of youth needs to occur sooner or later.