Ismaila Sarr was close to sealing a huge move to Premier League champions Liverpool in the January transfer window, according to football agent Thierno Seydi, per PanAfrican Football.
But a move supposedly fell through when the Reds refused to pay the asking price of the Senegal international, which was £35 million.
Sarr arrived at Vicarage Road last summer from French club Stade Rennais in a club-record transfer that was worth around £30 million.
Despite scoring five goals for the Hornets, Sarr couldn’t help Watford remain in the Premier League and he was widely expected to move on in the summer due to his obvious talents.
But no club came in with the right kind of bid for the 22-year-old, and it was the same story in the January transfer window that closed not too long ago – or so we thought.
Football agent Seydi has revealed that contracts were drawn up and close to being signed between the two parties last month, but ultimately it was the size of the transfer fee that made the deal fall through.
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“With Liverpool, a few days ago, we were at the stage of signing the contract to bind the Reds to Ismaila Sarr,” Seydi said, via PanAfrican Football.
“Everything was done, the monthly salary and the length of the contract. I even asked Sadio Mane to find him an apartment.
“But, in the end, the English club could not put 40 million euros (£35 million) on the table to finalise this case.”
It looks like the COVID-19 pandemic has seriously affected finances throughout football – even at the top clubs.
Sarr would have definitely helped with Liverpool’s depth in attack – at times in the last few months they’ve looked uncharacteristically blunt in-front of goal.
But they just couldn’t find the money in mid-season to do such a deal – only spending £500,000 on Preston defender Ben Davies and a similar fee to take Schalke youngster Ozan Kabak on loan.
It could be a deal that is revisited in the summer when finances are replenished, but Sarr remains a Hornet for the rest of the season.