After a protracted courting and negotiation attempt, it appears that Liverpool have admitted defeat in their efforts to bring Polish attacking midfielder Piotr Zielinski to Anfield this summer. The player was said to have preferred Liverpool and the Premier League, but after talks between the two clubs broke down, he accepted an offer from AC Milan instead.
The 22-year-old, who is with Udinese but spent the last two seasons on loan at Empoli FC, has been a Liverpool target for months, with Klopp keen to sign more attacking prowess to his side for the coming season. Liverpool allegedly lodged an £11m offer that included a sell-on fee, but Udinese rebuffed them, encouraging the player instead to accept a similar bid from another Italian club, Napoli. It may have been a case of European teams now expecting higher bids from England, now that the EPL has received that influx of television money.
Zielinski was adamant that his preferred destination was Liverpool and that he wouldn't move to the Stadio San Paolo, rejecting several advances from the club. It's believed that, sensing an opportunity, AC Milan placed their own bid for the player. Once Zielinski realized that Liverpool and Udinese would not come to an agreement, he accepted the Milan offer and will be plying his trade at the San Siro next season.
Liverpool are likely to target another attacking player before the transfer window ends. There's still six weeks left in the summer transfer window, which is plenty of time for Klopp and the transfer committee to do some business. However, with Martin Skrtel off to Turkey and the recently reported injuries to Mamadou Sakho and Joe Gomez, the focus should now be on finding another center-back to shore up the defense.