Rodrygo names Premier League giants he rejected in 2017

  • Rodrygo joined Real Madrid in 2018 for a fee of €45m
  • Brazil forward has since been linked with a big-money switch to the Premier League
  • 23-year-old came close to a move to England before his transfer to Spain
Rodrygo nearly moved to England
Rodrygo nearly moved to England / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Real Madrid forward Rodrygo has admitted he turned down the chance to move to Liverpool in 2017, 12 months before his switch to Spain was agreed.

Having tasted success from their signing of Vinicius Junior in 2017, Madrid went back to the Brazilian market to lure Rodrygo away from Santos, parting with a cool €45m to sign the then 17-year-old, who had just nine senior appearances to his name at the time.

Rumours of a potential switch to the Premier League this summer have surfaced recently, but Rodrygo has now revealed just how close he came to taking his first step in Europe with Liverpool after a €3m bid was accepted.

"We didn't close the deal because I didn't want to," Rodrygo recalled. "I wanted to stay at Santos even though the offer was very good.

"The pathway they promised me would also have been very good for my career. I was going to finish my studies in England to prepare for European football.

Liverpool tried to sign Rodrygo from Santos / Ricardo Nogueira/GettyImages

"It had always been my dream to play in Europe. Everything was very good, but my desire spoke louder. I wanted to stay at Santos and make a bit of history at the club. And that’s what happened: I was able to fulfil my dream of playing for Santos. But it's true, I almost went to Liverpool."

Rodrygo, who was only permitted to move to Europe in 2019 once he had turned 18, has since managed over 200 appearances for Madrid, racking up 52 goals and 40 assists in all competitions.

Despite missing out on the Brazilian's signature, Liverpool didn't do too badly in the 2017 transfer window, snapping up a certain Mohamed Salah from Roma for £34m.

Since Rodrygo moved to Spain, he has faced off against Liverpool on five occasions, winning four - including the 2021/22 Champions League final - and drawing just once.