Liverpool have had some hits and misses in the transfer market over the years, but what about those deals that never actually got done?
In this week’s Wednesday episode This is Anfield Stadium In the YouTube and podcast series Late Challenge Podcast, Paul Cope and Gareth Roberts reflect on some of Liverpool’s impending transfers and discuss how things might play out.
One of the best football players of all time is Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese began his career at Sporting Lisbon before joining Manchester United and then Real Madrid, where his goalscoring record is simply ridiculous – the No.7 played 438 games for Real Madrid Scored an astonishing 451 goals.
However, if things had been different in 2003, he might have moved to Liverpool.
Gerard Houllier’s Liverpool agreed a £4m transfer fee for the winger after his performances at Sporting Lisbon attracted attention, but Phil Thompson revealed in an interview with The Athletic How he failed.
The European Cup-winning captain said: “I asked about the salary and Tony (Henry, agent) told me it was £1m net a year.
“That’s a lot of money for an 18-year-old. But Tony said it was negotiable and I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, these guys are really trying to get him out.’
“We are interested and the boy is clearly a very talented individual.”
Of course, there’s a twist to the story, with Thompson revealing: “I’ll never forget what happened next.
“We were having lunch at the training ground on Tuesday morning and the words came on the yellow strap on Sky Sports: ‘Manchester United have signed Cristiano Ronaldo for £12.2 million.'”
“Gerald and myself almost choked on the food. I remember Gerald jumping up and saying: ‘What the hell is going on? “
Even if the Portuguese signs for Liverpool, things may not work out as well for him in reality.
Speaking on this week’s podcast, Kopp said: “I don’t think Houllier and Thompson can manage him the way Alex Ferguson managed Cristiano Ronaldo.
“Alex Ferguson had a level of ‘you can’t mess with me’ but there was also a level of ‘you have to respect me because of what I’ve done’.
“I think this is the kind of management Ronaldo needs. I think he is just too far for us; too arrogant, arrogant young man.
“You have to remember when he first came in, there was a lot of work to do.”
Roberts had similar feelings, saying he was not a “Liverpool player” and “it turned out that he did what he did in every aspect of his life and it’s fair to say that maybe it wasn’t the right thing for Liverpool.”
Paul Cope and Gareth Roberts speak on a new episode of This Is Anfield and The Late Challenge Podcast.
Every show is broadcast live Monday 5pm (UK) Our second show on YouTube at This Is Anfield Wednesday.
You can also listen to the audio program here.