It was not too long ago that Liverpool’s choice of summer attacking recruiting options included Timo Werner and Watford’s Ismaila Sarr. Of course, the Reds chose neither and ended up with Wolves’ Diogo Jota to smashing success. However, with the Portuguese forward sidelined since early December and the Liverpool attack misfiring, it has been revealed that the club had actually gone back in for the Watford winger in the January window.
The Senegalese player’s agent, Thierno Seydi admitted that the deal had advanced past personal terms but broke down at the last minute due to the small matter of the transfer fee:
“With Liverpool, a few days ago, we were at the stage of signing the contract that would tie the Reds to Ismaila Sarr,” Seydi said speaking with PanAfricanFootball.
“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, they weren’t able to put the €40 million (£35m) on the table to finalize the deal.
“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.”
Liverpool supporters have always been aware that fiscal sustainability has been at the heart of FSG’s modus operandi in their decade running the club, and that the pandemic has tested the group’s commitment to that strategy.
However, the retelling of this failed transfer throws these struggles into sharp relief and it is a testament to the transfer team’s negotiation skills that the deals for Jota, Thiago Alcântara, Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies even come off at all.
Conversely, Sarr continues to toil away in the Championship this season, with five goals in 24 appearances so far to his name. Maybe the Reds will be back in the summer.