Liverpool were willing to pay a considerable amount on Duje Caleta-Car last month, according to reports. Things were left too late, however.
Liverpool didn’t leave themselves a lot of time to sign a defender last month. Too little, in fact.
Ultimately, Joel Matip’s season-ending injury – revealed on deadline day – forced them into the window. Otherwise, they weren’t going to sign anyone.
The late, late decision left them scrambling. They came out of that scramble with two players, though – Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak.
The former arrived on the cheap as he came to the end of his contract with Championship Preston North End. The latter came on the cheap as part of a loan deal from almost-certainly-relegated Schalke 04.
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So it’s easy to come away with the belief that Liverpool only wanted to do this without spending much. But that might not have been the case.
The Independent reports that Liverpool were very willing to spend £20m on Duje Caleta-Car. The only reason it didn’t happen is that Marseille needed more time to sign a replacement.
And that’s the big problem with deadline-day business.
Leaving it late
This isn’t the first we’ve heard of Caleta-Car being a Liverpool target. But it is the first solid claim that he was a major target.
We’d just assumed he was one of the many defenders Liverpool reportedly asked about. But to actually want to spend £20m? That’s new.
It suggests Liverpool really wanted him. That’s a serious chunk of cash to spend, after all, especially on short notice.
It arguably makes some sense, though. We haven’t seen too much of Caleta-Car ourselves but he offers plenty of experience at just 24 and has a history of winning titles.
Liverpool didn’t get him in the end, of course, but the Kabak loan deal leaves the door open for the summer. Perhaps this isn’t the end.