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Liverpool ‘wanted Denis Zakaria ahead of Arthur Melo’

Liverpool ‘wanted Denis Zakaria ahead of Arthur Melo’

Liverpool allegedly attempted to sign Juventus midfielder Denis Zakaria last week before they push through a deal for teammate Arthur Melo.

Throughout the majority of the summer transfer window, Jurgen Klopp insisted that he would not be signing a new player for the centre of the pitch for 2022-23.

However, after a number of injuries to his options in that area of the field, Klopp had a change of heart, leading to a late scramble to bring in a fresh face.

On deadline day, the Merseyside giants were successful in reaching an agreement with Juventus for Arthur, with the Italian side keen to get the Brazilian off their wage bill.

Arthur was named as a substitute for Saturday’s derby with Everton and is expected to be handed a debut against Napoli in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

Juventus' Arthur Melo in action in November 2021© Reuters

Nevertheless, according to Calciomercato, a deal for Arthur only materialised after failing to find an agreement for Zakaria.

The report claims that Liverpool asked about the Switzerland international’s availability before it became apparent that the terms demanded by Juventus would not suit them.

Later on deadline day, it was widely reported that Chelsea had made progress with their own efforts to add Zakaria to their squad.

Although an official announcement came two hours after the close of the transfer window, Chelsea had completed the deal before the deadline.

Chelsea new owner Todd Boehly is seen in the stands before the match on May 7, 2022© Reuters

The Blues are said to have paid a loan fee of €3m (£2.59m) with the potential of spending a further €33m (£28.47m) on Zakaria if they wish to tie up a permanent deal.

Meanwhile, Liverpool allegedly committed to spending €4.5m (£3.88m) on a loan fee for Arthur with the option to sign the former Barcelona man for €37.5m (£32.37m) in 2023.

From a financial perspective, Chelsea appear to have negotiated a better deal with Juventus courtesy of the limited time which was left in the transfer window.

Juventus had also signed Leandro Paredes from Paris Saint-Germain, leading to the club’s hierarchy having to make a decision about further reducing their wage bill.

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