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Report: Manchester United almost missed out on summer signing to Liverpool

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Manchester United star Sofyan Amrabat is a doubt to face Sheffield United on Saturday.

Jurgen Klopp almost signed Sofyan Amrabat at Liverpool before Manchester United transfer

According to the Daily Mail (h/t Metro), Sofyan Amrabat was almost on the verge of being signed by Liverpool this transfer window.

The international player from Morocco will eventually play his first United match this evening against Crystal Palace in the Carabao Cup.

In an effort to persuade the 27-year-old to join his midfield rebuild after the departures of Jordan Henderson, Fabinho, and James Milner, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp personally called the former Fiorentina star.

Manchester United swooped in late to beat Galatasaray to the signing of Sofyan Amrabat.
Manchester United swooped in late to beat Liverpool to the signing of Sofyan Amrabat. (Image Credit: Getty Images)

Nearly a month after arriving on deadline day, Amrabat made his United debut as a late substitute in the 1-0 victory over Burnley on Saturday at Turf Moor.

Klopp was just “a whisker away” from acquiring Amrabat before a last-minute, unanticipated delay forced the Reds to focus on signing Ryan Gravenberch from Bayern Munich.

For 24 hours, negotiations between Liverpool and Amrabat’s camp were placed on pause. During that time, Liverpool looked into the prospect of signing Gravenberch, who was thought to be a better fit for Klopp’s needs given his age.

Since joining Fiorentina from Hellas Verona in 2020, the defensive midfielder has made 107 appearances, one goal and one assist.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag claims Sofyan Amrabat can play in multiple positions.
Manchester United star Sofyan Amrabat during his time at Fiorentina in Italy. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)

Amrabat previously competed for FC Utrecht in the Netherlands under Erik ten Hag. He made an impression in Qatar during the 2022 World Cup, where he assisted Morocco in reaching the semifinals.

It would have been a shame to miss out on a player of his quality, that too to our arch-rivals. Liverpool ended up signing Ryan Gravenberch instead on deadline day, who isn’t a defensive midfielder by trade.

Meanwhile, we got our man for the No. 6 role. That is a big plus and he is just getting started here. There is a lot to come from him in his first season here and perhaps it will be enough for us to trigger the £21.4million buy-option in his deal.

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Since Fred departed the team and Casemiro was the sole choice, it’s fantastic that he chose United over Liverpool. Scott McTominay is rarely preferred by Ten Hag and Christian Eriksen doesn’t have the defensive bite to his game as Amrabat does.