The president of the Italian football club Empoli Fabrizio Corsi has hinted just how close Liverpool came to signing Poland international Piotr Zieliński back in 2016.
Jurgen Klopp and the Reds are known to have held a long-term interest in the Polish international, but eventually signed Newcastle's Georginio Wijnaldum instead.
Zieliński ultimately joined Napoli and according to Corsi it seems the midfielder turned down Liverpool despite their interest.
As reported in Metro, speaking to radio station Radio Kiss Kiss, Corsi admitted that the Reds wanted Zieliński but failed to persuade him into swapping the Serie A for English football.
"When he came to Naples, he had that option [Liverpool], but they did really well to convince him," Corsi is quoted as saying.
Interest in Zieliński grew after an impressive two-year loan spell at at Empoli (away from parent club Udinese).
The 24-year-old was a top priority for Liverpool at one stage and was on the precipice of joining the club before Udinese stopped any potential move to Merseyside. At one stage, Zieliński was even pictured wearing a Liverpool shirt.
After his £14m move to Napoli, Zieliński revealed he had indeed talked with Klopp.
"My head was a mess. Liverpool finally got a plane and I met with Jurgen Klopp," he said. "He said he wanted me in his team. I saw a different world and after returning my head was even a 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."
Zieliński was on the winning side when Napoli met Liverpool in the Champions League earlier, as the Serie A side ran out 1-0 winners at the Stadio San Paolo. The former Empoli man has two goals to his name in 2018/19.