​Liverpool pushed hard to sign Rodrygo when he was still playing for Santos, according to the winger's former coach, Elano.

Real Madrid eventually signed him for €45m, with the starlet netting six goals in his first eight appearances in all competitions for the Spanish giants.

He was just 16-years-old when Elano handed him the first start of his senior career, with Rodrygo having begun life at Santos in the club's futsal side.


Discussing the Reds' interest in the summer of 2018, Elano - who gave the teenager his debut at Santos - told ESPN Brasil (as quoted by Sport Witness): "There was a period when there was very strong negotiation from Liverpool for him to leave when he was still at the academy.

"The amount was very low, but they wanted to go [ahead with the deal]. The offer from Real later was around €30m more.

"I had a talk with the staff and said the boy was worth the bet, and that we should raise him because I would like to work with him. Thank God, everything worked out for Rodrygo’s merit."

After making 80 appearances for the Alvinegro Praiano and scoring 17 goals, he was lured away from his homeland, continuing his remarkable development at the Santiago Bernabeu under the watchful eye of Zinedine Zidane.

Rodrygo has played four ​La Liga matches for ​Madrid, scoring twice to help the side to second  place in the table. Zidane's men are level on points with leaders ​Barcelona, trailing their rivals on goal difference alone.

The 18-year-old scored a perfect hat-trick as Los Blancos thrashed Galatasaray 6-0 on Wednesday. That treble saw him break numerous European records, with his display seeing him become the youngest player from his country to grab a hat-trick in the Champions League.

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