Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images
Tottenham wanted Luis Diaz in January and Pepijn Lijnders has now shared just how Liverpool pulled out all the stops to sign him.
Diaz enjoyed a superb first half of the season with Porto having missed out on a potential move to Everton last summer.
The Colombian smashed 14 goals and four assists in 18 league games for Porto last season, putting himself in the shop window.
Everton were long gone out of the race for Diaz, and it ultimately came down to Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool…
Tottenham wanted Luis Diaz in January
Tottenham were keen to add a new winger in January and went in for Diaz.
A £37.6million offer was made for Diaz but Porto said no, seeking closer to the £66million release clause in his contract.
Liverpool caught wind of that offer and moved in to sign Diaz, paying £37million rising to £49million for the Colombian star.
That proved to be a masterstroke from Liverpool as Diaz proved to be a huge threat in the final third for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
Diaz’s end product can still improve but four goals and three assists in 13 Premier League games was a very encouraging start.
Tottenham may not feel too gutted; they ended up signing Dejan Kulusevski instead, and he looks to be a star too.
Still, missing out on Diaz will sting a little and Liverpool assistant coach Pepijn Lijnders has now opened up about how the Reds won the race.
Lijnders is releasing his new book titled ‘Intensity: Inside Liverpool FC – Our Identity’ and the topic of Diaz’s transfer has been discussed.
Photo by RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images
As quoted by the Liverpool Echo, Lijnders was actually away on holiday when he was called upon to speak to Diaz about a move.
Lijnders previously worked at Porto and was seen as the ideal man to speak to Diaz, especially as Tottenham were ‘all-in’ on signing him.
Lijnders talked up Liverpool’s history, their players and their coaches, believing that this would just be the ideal move for Diaz.
The Dutchman played a key role in Diaz picking Liverpool and it all came whilst he was away skiing; football works in strange ways sometimes.
“I was on a skiing trip with my wife Danielle when, during dinner, our sporting director called me,” said Lijnders. “‘You and Jurgen have to speak with Luis Diaz in five minutes. We’ve just agreed with Porto but Tottenham are all-in as well. I joined the call and Jurgen was explaining to Luis how he would fit into our style and that we would help him. He said in reference to me joining (the call) ‘but you will hear this guy much more often!’ to which I immediately said ‘but I will explain things more calmly than Sergio (Conceicao, the Porto manager)!”
“I told him: ‘We want you desperately and have been pushing for the last one-and-a-half months with our owners and our sporting director, but you know that these kinds of transfers are not easy to accomplish. The good thing is you will train with Virgil, Robbo and Trent and they will make you so much stronger. Our idea is to create and score; you will have to tear these guys apart each day in training, which will make you better.”
“His agent translated Jurgen’s message and Julian Ward said ‘these two will make you a better player’. I told him there were not many clubs with more history and culture than Porto but Liverpool was one of them and he would feel this. Julian then walked with his phone to the trophy cabinet at AXA and finished with ‘we want to add to this and that’s why we want you’. If the boy wasn’t convinced, he would be now. What started as a bad adventure on the slopes ended with an incredible signing. We signed the one we wanted. My crazy day couldn’t have ended better. Would he be the difference-maker for the rest of this season? We hoped so,” he added.
Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images
The post Liverpool coach claims Tottenham were ‘all-in’ on £49m signing before Reds won the race appeared first on Ladunblog.
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