In January, Maxime Lopez was rumoured to be attracting interest from a number of clubs in England, including Liverpool and Arsenal. Today, the player has said that the rumours and the interest were both real, at least from Liverpool, and that he strongly considered making the switch.
In the end, though, he felt it was too soon and he was too young to leave France for England, even if Liverpool told him that they thought he was a player who could develop to become the next Philippe Coutinho and might eventually take his place if the Brazilian were to move on.
“They approached me in a good way,” Lopez told L’Equipe today. “I even met Steven Gerrard at the stadium after a game. They said to me, ‘In five years you could get Coutinho’s place!’ and I wanted to go there, but also to stay at Marseille. To go, at this age and even with family, is very hard.”
Lopez recently signed a new four-year deal to keep him at Marseille for at least the next few seasons, and his priority for now is helping his current team and getting the playing time he needs to develop, something that he felt would be tough in the short-term if he moved to Anfield.
“I had seen that they had 30 young professional players,” he noted. “Not to mention the first team. You really have to be mentally prepared.”