Liverpool prepare £40m bid for attacker they agreed terms with in January – he was apartment shopping

Liverpool are reportedly lining up a move to sign Watford forward Ismaila Sarr after they were close to signing him in January.

According to 90Min’s Graeme Bailey: “Klopp is looking to change up his attacking options and wants to bring in a new winger, with Sarr emerging as one of his top summer targets.”

He goes on to write that ‘sources with knowledge of the situation have confirmed’ that Liverpool are ready to pay as much as £40m to sign Sarr.

WATFORD, ENGLAND - APRIL 24: Ismaila Sarr and Nathaniel Chalobah of Watford look on at the final whistle as they are promoted to the Premier League following the Sky Bet Championship match between Watford and Millwall at Vicarage Road on April 24, 2021 in Watford, England.
WATFORD, ENGLAND – APRIL 24: Ismaila Sarr and Nathaniel Chalobah of Watford look on at the final whistle as they are promoted to the Premier League following the Sky Bet Championship match between Watford and Millwall at Vicarage Road on April 24, 2021 in Watford, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Sarr was in agreement with Liverpool in January but the Reds failed to match Watford’s asking price and so a move fell through.

In April, the Athletic reported: “Keeping Ismaila Sarr is the main priority but Watford are realists, too.

“If Manchester United, Liverpool (who were both interested last summer) or another big club were to return with a significant offer then the story might change.”

Sarr was even looking for an apartment

The forward was ever so close to joining Liverpool in January, with his agent claiming that contracts had been signed and they were looking for an apartment.

A move to Liverpool fell through when the Reds refused to pay €40million to sign him.

WATFORD, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 26: Ismaila Sarr of Watford looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Watford and Luton Town at Vicarage Road on September 26, 2020 in Watford, England. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

His agent, Thierno Seydi, told Pan African Football: “With Liverpool, a few days ago, we were at the stage of signing the contract to bind the Reds to Ismaila Sarr.

“Everything was set, the monthly salary and the length of the lease. I even asked Sadio Mane to find him an apartment.

“But in the end, the English club could not put €40 million on the table to finalise this case.”

During the 2019/20 season, Sarr had six goals and six assists. Last season, with Watford fighting for immediate promotion back to the Premier League, he got a combined total of 23 goal contributions.

Naturally, this would dip with a return to the top division in England but assuming he moved to Liverpool, he’d be playing with more talented players which would have a positive effect on his attacking numbers.

WATFORD, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Ismaila Sarr of Watford during the Premier League match between Watford FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Vicarage Road on January 01, 2020 in Watford, United Kingdom.
WATFORD, ENGLAND – JANUARY 01: Ismaila Sarr of Watford during the Premier League match between Watford FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Vicarage Road on January 01, 2020 in Watford, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

WhoScored reports that the 23-year-old played the vast majority of his games on the right but has also played a handful of matches as a centre-forward and this is what interests me the most.

Roberto Firmino’s unfortunate decline means that Jurgen Klopp may be tempted to find a player that can provide a more meaningful contribution upfront for the Reds.

Sarr is able to play in behind defenders but can also play as a target man, with his finishing very instinctive.

WATFORD, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: Ismaila Sarr of Watford celebrates after scoring his sides third goal during the Premier League match between Watford FC and Aston Villa at Vicarage Road on December 28, 2019 in Watford, United Kingdom.
WATFORD, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 28: Ismaila Sarr of Watford celebrates after scoring his sides third goal during the Premier League match between Watford FC and Aston Villa at Vicarage Road on December 28, 2019 in Watford, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Liverpool are very aware of how good Sarr is after his brace against the Reds in 2020 ended their chances of going unbeaten in the Premier League and it may have had a lot to do with their pursuit of the 1.85m forward.

Of course, they will have learned a lot about Sarr from his compatriot and international teammate Sadio Mane. The Liverpool forward will have been able to give Jurgen Klopp a detailed account of what Watford’s blisteringly quick man is like.

Whether or not Liverpool actually make another move for Sarr is up for debate but given they had agreed terms with him, it seems as though it’s a possibility.

Michael Mongie
Football Central Media Group founder, owner and editor.

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