Empoli president Fabrizio Corsi has revealed Liverpool came very close to signing Piotr Zielinski – but the mooted transfer failed to materialise.
The Reds were linked with a move for the Poland international ahead of the 2016/17 campaign, while Zielinski was on loan at Empoli from rivals Udinese.
Eventually the midfielder joined Serie A side Napoli in a deal worth a reported £14million, and Liverpool were forced to turn their attention to then Newcastle star Georginio Wijnaldum.
Opening up on the failed transfer to Liverpool, Empoli top brass Corsi spoke to Radio Kiss Kiss about how close the Anfield club came.
"When he came to Naples, he had that option, but they did really well to convince him," explained the Serie A president.
"I have a few regrets regarding him. He was decisive for us, but I didn’t ask for a ransom.
"I was working with Udinese’s interests in mind, who then had an agreement with Naples. It’s hard to deal with Giampaolo Pozzo [owner of Udinese]. For me, he’s the best."
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Zielinski has also previously discussed his failed transfer. He revealed that Jurgen Klopp even went to see him to get the deal over the line.
The 24-year-old explained: "My head was a mess. Liverpool finally got a plane and I met with Jurgen Klopp.
"He said he wanted me in his team. I saw a different world and after returning my head was an even bigger mess.
"I knew that Liverpool wanted me badly and I knew they would return to the talks as I got that promise in January. It didn’t work out for them with Udinese at the end."
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