Liverpool had £35m January transfer collapse with contract ready to be signed

Ismaila Sarr’s agent has claimed he was on the verge of completing a move to Liverpool in the January transfer window – only for the deal to collapse.

The Reds were operating on a tight budget in the winter market with manager Jurgen Klopp publicly voicing his frustration at club owners FSG.

They eventually allowed the German to sign two centre-backs on deadline day, landing Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak to ease their injury crisis.

But it has emerged they were also close to adding attacking talent to their ranks in the form of Watford winger Sarr.

Sarr, who is close friends with Sadio Mane, has long been linked with a move to Anfield but that appeared dead in the water when they signed Diogo Jota in the summer.

Yet Thierno Seydi has claimed a deal was about to be signed with personal terms agreed and Mane looking to find Sarr a place to live before Liverpool said they could not pay the £35million fee.

Seydi told Panafricanfootball : “With Liverpool, a few days ago, we were at the stage of signing the contract that would tie the Reds to Ismaïla Sarr.

“Everything was sorted: the monthly wages and the length of the deal. I’d even asked Sadio Mané to find him an apartment.

“But it in the end, the English club weren’t able to put the €40m on the table to finalise the affair.

“You have to say that if English clubs that once animated the transfer window are struggling to put funds together, that shows the depth of the crisis affecting football”.

Sarr, who played for the same academy as Mane in Senegal before heading to Europe, previously labelled the Reds star an “idol”.

“Mane is not only a Senegal team-mate of mine but he is my inspiration and idol,” Sarr said previously.

“It will be perfect for me to play against him again. For me he is the best player in the world. For sure, the best African player in Europe.

“He’s our national team leader but he’s also a nice guy and I love him.”

Mane is also a fan of Sarr, warning Andy Robertson about him before they faced Watford last season due to his blistering pace.

“He’s rapid,” Mane said of Sarr. “I think defenders will struggle.

“Last time I was speaking to Robbo (Andy Robertson) I said ‘Watford have a really good player. I will need to help you more otherwise Ismaila Sarr will kill you, because he is a good dribbler and very, very fast’.”

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