By Matt Farr
Liverpool made bids to sign Premier League stars Diego Costa and Willian before their moves to Chelsea, according to reports.
The Telegraph claim that the attacking duo were both approached by Liverpool about potential moves before they signed deals at Stamford Bridge.
The report also suggests that Liverpool offered the Brazilian internationals a similar financial package, if not more, than what Chelsea were reportedly offering.
However, Liverpool failed in their attempts to convince them to pick Anfield over their rivals, and they have since become big hits in the Premier League.
Joining for a combined £62million, Costa and Willian were instrumental in the Jose Mourinho side that lifted the 2014-15 Premier League title and the League Cup.
Willian, signed from Anzhi Makhachkala in 2013 for a reported £30million, has made 166 appearances for the club, scoring 26 goals.
Meanwhile, Costa has netted 54 times from 106 appearances, following his £32million move from Atletico Madrid in 2014.
The pair have a combined 24 goals and seven assists for Chelsea this season, as they on track to pick up their second Premier League winners’ medal.
The Telegraph report also claims that Liverpool made approaches for several other current Premier League stars, including Henrik Mkhitaryan, Alexis Sanchez and Leroy Sane.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has taken fair criticism for his failure to spend money in the transfer market since taking charge of the club in 2015, or to bring in the calibre of player capable of improving the squad.
His predecessor, Brendan Rodgers, also received similar criticism, but the Telegraph report suggests that it was less a reluctance to spend big in the transfer market than an actual failure to attract the big-names.
Liverpool will be hoping to attract such players to Anfield in the summer, but their current position (fifth) in the race to finish in the Premier League’s top-four, could cost them that yet again.
Football Insider verdict
Both Costa and Willian would have been brilliant additions for the club, and had they been wearing the Red of Liverpool instead of the Blue of Chelsea, things might not have been looking so sour for them at the moment. Costa has proven to be one of the Premier League’s best goalscorers, while Willian, a potent goalscorer himself, is one of the most promising attacking talents. Liverpool are currently in the hunt for two top-class talents in both those positions and they will need to set the bar as high as they did when they first coveted Willian and Costa several years ago. Only this time, they need to go the extra mile and convince them to pick Anfield.
In other Liverpool transfer news, the club are set to do battle with a major Premier League rival for the signature of this highly-rated European goalscorer.