Liverpool were heavily linked with a move to sign Renato Sanches and one report even named Anfield as the most likely destination for the Portuguese star.
And then he suffered a meniscal injury and scuppered his chances of leaving Lille as has now been confirmed by his club president.
Speaking to La Voix du Nord, president Olivier Letang said: “It’s an open secret. Renato could have left, he had an exit certificate.
“We had almost reached an agreement with a very big club but his knee injury changed the plans. Now, we are happy to have Renato still with us and we hope he comes back (from injury as soon as possible).”
While domestic sources vehemently denied any suggestions that Liverpool were interested in Sanches, sources in Frances, Spain and Portugal heavily linked the Reds with a move for the midfielder until he suffered his knee injury.
I do wonder if Liverpool were the big club that Letang has alluded to because it was well known that the club was waiting to offload Xherdan Shaqiri to make space for a non-homegrown signing.
That said, I do wonder if there could be the opportunity to make a move to sign the Portuguese midfielder in January although as evidenced by his latest injury setback, his injury record is not great and given the trouble Liverpool have had with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita, the club would likely have concerns over signing a player with such extensive injury issues.
Mundo Deportivo claimed that Anfield was his most likely destination before his injury and that he would cost around €40million and if a move materialises further down the line, at least it will likely happen at a more affordable price point due to his injury and the more advanced stage of his contract.
His contract expires in 2023 and now that the summer is over another option would be to wait a full two seasons for his contract to expire but given that he already wants to leave, he is unlikely to be willing to wait that long.