Sanchez to Liverpool was a done deal - experienced PL executive
By Harry Sykes
Former Liverpool chief executive Ian Ayre has claimed that the club were convinced they had agreed the signing of Alexis Sanchez in the summer of 2014.
The Merseysiders had held extensive talks about landing the Chilean as they reluctantly sanctioned the £65million sale of Luis Suarez in the same transfer window.
Suarez left but Liverpool were unable to replace him with Sanchez, who agreed to join Arsenal for £32million.
Ayre revealed that the five-times European Cup winners did all they could to push through the Sanchez deal but were ultimately defeated by geography.
“There was much-publicised interest in Alexis Sanchez, as part of the deal which saw Luis go to Barcelona, and that deal was done.
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“The only reason it wasn’t was that the player and his wife wanted to live in London,” Ayre said at a lecture in Liverpool on Wednesday, as quoted by the Sky Sports website.
“The thing to understand is that you are never actually in complete control of who you buy and sell as a club.
“We couldn’t move the football club to London, unfortunately.”
Ayre also accused Dele Alli of greed as he explained why the club did not sign him from MK Dons when he was 18.
Alli grew up as a Liverpool fan and met with then-manager Brendan Rodgers ahead of a potential transfer in January 2015.
But experienced Premier League chief Ayre explained that the Merseysiders did not pursue the deal because they were not convinced enough by what Alli had achieved to meet his demands.
The attacking midfielder subsequently completed a £5million transfer to Tottenham on deadline day of the winter 2015 window before being loaned back to MK dons for the remainder of that campaign.
Alli is completing the second of two sensational campaigns at White Hart Lane, where he has emerged as one of the finest young players in the world to leave Liverpool to rue their decision.
“There was interest in the player, but where it got to was that the demands at that time were not fitting to what he had achieved at that point.”
Alli has thrived under Mauricio Pochettino and been named the PFA Young Player of the Year for the past two seasons.
He has followed up an outstanding debut Premier League campaign with an even better second one in which he has plundered 20 goals and supplied 11 assists from 45 matches in all competitions.
Ayre departed Liverpool in February to take up a position at German side TSV 1860 Munich.
In other Tottenham transfer news, the club have terminated the contract of one of their emerging stars plucked from overseas.