Liverpool ‘almost stole’ wonderkid as Michael Edwards eyes youth recruits

Liverpool were reportedly very close to signing Uruguayan youngster Juan Manuel Sanabria in another piece of Michael Edwards’ business.

Sanabria was included in Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid side that beat Celta Vigo on Saturday, having joined the club two years ago.

But he could be playing at Anfield instead of the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium after making the move from Nacional in 2018.

According to Spanish outlet AS, Sanabria was invited to train with Liverpool ’s youth team, but had his heart set on a move to Atletico instead, despite the Reds' best attempts to "steal" him.

The 20-year-old has risen through the ranks in the Spanish capital after completing his dream move, and now appears to be part of the first team.

Atletico sporting director, Andrea Berta, is said to have “fallen in love” with Sanabria while watching him in Uruguay in 2016, and made three trips to see him play in South America before making a move two years later.

Anfield bigwig Edwards is thought to be the visionary behind many of Liverpool’s recent transfer dealings including the likes of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Virgil van Dijk.

Working as the club’s sporting director, Edwards has shifted much of the deadwood at the club while bringing in some top talent, completely revamping their approach to business in the transfer market.

Reds manager Jurgen Klopp has spoken positively of his conversations with Edwards in the past, admitting that they often end up on the same page with who they should look to sign.

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Liverpool got their title defence off to a shaky start as they edged out a seven-goal thriller against Leeds.

In terms of transfers the Reds have completed the signing of Thiago Alcantara and Wolves' Diogo Jota has arrived too, in a shock deal worth a potential £45million.

Youngster Ki-Jana Hoever is set to head to Wolves in a £10million deal, while Gini Wijnaldum continues to be linked with Barcelona. There's a lot to keep track of.

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“It is a very good relationship,” Klopp says. “He is a very thoughtful person.

“We don’t always have to have the same opinion from the first second of a conversation, but we finish pretty much all our talks with the same opinion. Or similar opinions.”

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