With Liverpool reported to have withdrawn interest in Jude Bellingham, there are similarities with four other eventual transfers at Anfield.
After months and months of pursuing the Dortmund youngster, Tuesday night brought the news that Liverpool had pulled out of the race to sign Bellingham.
The 19-year-old has been deemed too expensive, with SPORT1 journalist Patrick Berger claiming Dortmund are seeking €150 million, and now alternative targets will be focused on.
That is, if reports from journalists on Merseyside are to be believed, of course.
With the sudden release of the news of Liverpool’s U-turn over Bellingham, it is widely believed that the club have leaked the information, leading many fans to question why.
Could it all be part of their negotiation tactics? Four previous stories suggest it is at least possible.
Naby Keita – 2017
A transfer saga that excited fans but proved to be a cautionary tale – and one which could even be used as an example if the Bellingham deal has, indeed, collapsed.
Interest in Keita first emerged in March 2017, with the club pivoting to the Guinean upon the failure to sign either Mahmoud Dahoud or Piotr Zielinski the previous summer.
Liverpool saw three bids rejected before the Mail‘s Dominic King reported in July 2017 that the club had “abandoned their pursuit” of Keita.
Just over a month later, the club confirmed a club-record deal with Leipzig that would bring Keita to Anfield the following summer – sadly, he has failed to live up to the hype.
Virgil van Dijk – 2017
Van Dijk agreed to join Liverpool in June 2017, only for the transfer to collapse dramatically.
Alisson – 2018
“[Klopp will] seriously consider offering [Danny] Ward the chance to make the No. 1 jersey his own at the club,” the Mirror‘s David Maddock famously wrote in July 2018, adding that there were “absolutely no plans” to target Alisson.
However, after reports of initial contact in February, Joyce claimed the club were “ready to end their interest” and Pearce wrote in March that the goalkeeper had been told “not to expect a bid” due to Roma’s £80 million price tag.
That is when Ward was positioned as future No. 1 – and we all know what happened next: a transformative, £65 million transfer confirmed in July 2018.
Ward was sold to Leicester days later.
Thiago – 2020
Finally, Liverpool’s surprise pursuit of Thiago, who was into the final year of his contract with Bayern Munich in the summer of 2020.
Reports of the club’s interest broke in Germany in June, with Spanish newspaper Sport then claiming the Reds were “very close” to a deal as Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge confirmed he would be sold.