Sofyan Amrabat could make his first Old Trafford appearance for Manchester United in Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup tie against Crystal Palace following a brief debut off the bench at Burnley, but it’s emerged that the Moroccan was just hours away from becoming a Liverpool player this summer.
Liverpool’s interest in Amrabat is no secret, with Jurgen Klopp said to have phoned the 27-year-old midfielder personally to try and persuade him to move to Anfield from Fiorentina to help fill the gaps left by Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and James Milner.
United Confidential can reveal that Klopp was a whisker away from getting his man until a last-minute hitch held up the deal and Liverpool signed Ryan Gravenberch from Bayern Munich for £34.2million instead.
The problem is believed to have arisen inside the Amrabat camp. Talks were put on hold for 24 hours and it was during this period that Liverpool decided to go back to Gravenberch who, at 21, was viewed as a younger and better fit for Klopp’s needs.
Amrabat is now in the process of changing agents from Stellar to Sports Entertainment Group, who were involved in his move to Old Trafford. United paid a £8.5m loan fee on deadline day to sign the Dutch-born player for the rest of the season with the option to buy him for £21.4m next summer.
Unity has been the watchword at United during a bumpy start to the season, and Erik ten Hag organised a barbecue for the families of his players and staff at Carrington on Sunday.
The United squad turned up for the event which was well received by the players following an equally popular club-wide event at Old Trafford last month.
The families were treated to what was described as a healthy barbecue, with a number of activities laid on for the childrenRead on m.allfootballapp.com