Liverpool reportedly made contact with Athletic Bilbao over Aymeric Laporte earlier in January during their search for a new centre-back.
The Spaniard is now close to sealing a move to Manchester City, who are set to pay his buyout clause that totals to €70million.
Laporte boasts a glowing reputation as one of Spain’s most accomplished defenders at just 23-years-old and has previously been linked with Barcelona.
Spanish football expert Guillem Balague admits Liverpool did look into Laporte, only to be put off by his price-tag.
Seems a strange claim given that the Reds would go on to spend £75million on Virgil van Dijk.
“One is Liverpool actually asked about Laporte not so long ago for this market and they must have been taken aback by the money involved,” Balague said on his YouTube channel.
“They just did not go for him and City, once they rejected the option of Evans, said ‘We’ve got the money so let’s go for it’.”
Liverpool arguably secured a better deal, with Van Dijk offering not only the natural talent but also experience of the Premier League’s physicality that foreign defenders take time to adapt to upon their arrival in England.
Despite being on the losing side against Swansea on Monday night, the Dutchman is yet to be seriously tested at the heart of the Reds’ back four.
Alfie Mawson’s headed winner at the Liberty Stadium, however, served as proof it will take some time for Van Dijk to strike up an understanding with his defensive teammates.
A lack of communication and organisation saw both he and Joe Gomez go for the same ball, making for a weak clearance and subsequently giving Mawson a simple scoring opportunity.
Give him a run of starts and Reds will start to see him make a significant difference.