100-time international: I almost joined Liverpool two or three times
By Will Butcher
Damien Duff has revealed that he almost joined Liverpool on more than one occasion throughout his career.
Duff, who picked up 100 Ireland caps during before hanging up his boots in 2015, revealed that he almost joined Liverpool prior to joining Chelsea in 2003 for £17million.
The 38-year-old retired following a stint at Shamrock Rovers after spells with Newcastle, Melbourne City, Blackburn, Fulham and Chelsea.
He could also have joined Liverpool on number of occasions.
Speaking to football magazine FourFourTwo, the left winger claimed that he almost signed on the dotted line but Blackburn blocked Liverpool’s first attempt, demanding too large a transfer fee.
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“I came close two or three times,” Duff claimed. “The first was a year or two before I signed for Chelsea.
“I would have gone there, but Blackburn wanted a big fee so not too many clubs could afford to buy me back then. When I was leaving Chelsea, the same move nearly happened again.”
Duff, who was known for his superb dribbling ability and work rate on the left flank, won two Premier League trophies with Chelsea after becoming one of Roman Abramovich’s first signings.
The Dublin-born midfielder then left Chelsea in 2006, rejecting a move to Anfield and instead opting to join Newcastle for a fee of £5million.
He was also part of the Fulham side that reached the Europa League final in 2010 under former England manager Roy Hodgson, only to be beaten 2-1 by Atletico Madrid in extra time.
Since retirement, Duff has done both coaching and punditry work, joining Shamrock Rovers’ first-team coaching staff as well as working with Irish broadcaster RTE for Euro 2016.
In other Liverpool transfer news, this ostracised member of Jurgen Klopp’s squad is reportedly set to be the subject of a £20million offer.