Liverpool made a huge play to try and sign Bayern Munich striker Thomas Muller over the summer with the expected windfall from Philippe Coutinho’s Barcelona move, according to reports.
The Brazilian was heavily linked with a switch to Camp Nou as a replacement for Neymar, with the two clubs unable to agree a fee – Barca president Josep Bartomeu has since claimed Liverpool demanded €200 million (£177m).
But now it has emerged, according to Bild at least, that Liverpool were happy to sell Coutinho as long as they managed to bring in a replacement: Bayern star Muller.
The German publication claim that Jurgen Klopp’s interest in signing his compatriot was more concrete than previously realised, and he was happy to greenlight Coutinho’s departure on the condition that Muller arrived in his place.
With Barca offering a package that would reach €120 million (£106m), Liverpool were prepared to reinvest €100 million (£88m) of that to try and land Muller.
But Bayern never gave Liverpool’s approach any serious consideration, with the club’s hierarchy determined to keep hold of the forward, and so Liverpool forced Coutinho to stay.
That saw Barcelona ramp up their efforts to bring in Ousmane Dembele, launching a bid that could reach €148 million (£131m).