Marseille youngster Maxime Lopez has revealed via a documentary on the club’s YouTube channel that he rejected the chance to sign for Liverpool.
The Champions League title holders have made a habit of landing hungry young talents before helping them transform into household names, from Mohamed Salah to Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Andy Robertson, and Maxime appears to fit right in as an archetypal Reds signing.
At just 21 years of age, the Algerian-born French midfielder has his whole professional career ahead of him, though he has already made over 80 Ligue 1 matches in Marseille colours.
The France Under-21 international has even been connected to a certain Samir Nasri, the enigmatic attacking midfielder who rose through the ranks at the Stade Velodrome before starring at Manchester City and Arsenal, as reported by UEFA.com.
And Maxime has now confirmed that he could have followed Samir Nasri to England before maverick manager Marcelo Bielsa arrived at Les Olympiens and immediately froze him out of the senior team.
“I was about to sign (a professional contract) when Bielsa arrived. It was very hard because I had just refused Liverpool. I said to myself ‘f***’. I felt like everything was falling apart, I was not playing,” Lopez says.
He might have regretted not seizing a transfer to Merseyside back then but it is hard to see where he’d fit into Jurgen Klopp’s first-team plans right now, considering the treasure trove of midfield talent the German tactician has at his disposal.