It was always common knowledge that Dele Alli wanted to sign for Liverpool and now the Spurs midfielder has spilled the beans on how close he came to signing for the Reds.
According to Rory O’Callaghan of the Daily Mail, Liverpool tried to sign Dele Alli before he completed a move to Tottenham by proposing a meeting with Steven Gerrard. The meeting never happened because the Liverpool legend fell asleep.
Before Alli signed for Spurs for £5 million, he was linked with a whole host of Premier League clubs and even travelled from Milton Keynes to Liverpool to discuss a potential transfer, but it all fell apart.
Before Alli made the trip up North, he was promised a meeting with his hero, Steven Gerrard. It didn’t materialise as Gerrard fell asleep before a match.
“At the time when I was at MK there was contact with Liverpool before I signed for Tottenham but that was before we’d even spoke to Tottenham, I think it was six months before,” Alli told Football Focus, according to the Daily Mail.
“We went up there and I think they knew that Steven Gerrard was my hero so they said he was going to come down and meet me but when I got there he was asleep apparently.
“I think he had a game the next day though so I understand.”
Alli’s admiration of Gerrard was intended as being used as a way to persuade Alli to join the club but it didn’t pay off.
“The way he was on the pitch, the way he was as a leader and a player, not just for Liverpool but for England as well – he was a player I really looked up to,” he said.
While it’s unclear if the scuppered meeting convinced Alli to sign for a different club, Brendan Rodgers commented on the failed transfer earlier this year, saying Liverpool believed that Alli would sign for the club.
“He wanted to come to Liverpool,” Rodgers said earlier this year.
“It was just then about getting the deal done with the club and unfortunately, it never got done but at that point, that Saturday evening, we thought we had him in, it was done.
“He stayed on then, the deal didn’t get done between the clubs and eventually he went to Tottenham, which was frustrating and disappointing really.”
When you think about it, however, it’s not a complete disaster. Liverpool had already signed Philippe Coutinho and the Brazilian is easily the better footballer, but there is no doubting that Alli would have been a good addition to the club. Despite Daniel Levy putting a £100 million price tag on Alli’s head, Liverpool aren’t in a terrible position without the Spurs midfielder.
What do you think? Is Dele Alli the one that got away or are Liverpool better off without him?