Jurgen Klopp phoned Sofyan Amrabat personally to convince the midfielder of a move to Liverpool, before a deal fell apart late in the summer transfer window, according to one report.
The 27-year-old Morocco international ultimately joined Manchester United in a season-long loan deal, with an option to buy, on Deadline Day.
Having impressed during the 2022 World Cup, during which Morocco became the first African nation to reach the semi finals, Amrabat was one of the most speculated about midfielders during the summer.
Liverpool were reported as one possible destination for the Fiorentina star, with Jurgen Klopp overseeing a midfield overhaul following the exits of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho, as well as James Milner, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Despite the arrivals of Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai and Wataru Endo, the Reds were still in the market for one more midfield option in the final days of the summer window, before the 1 September deadline.
While Liverpool ended up landing Ryan Gravenberch in a £34m deal from Bayern Munich, the Daily Mail claims that the Reds were actually 'hours away' from a deal for Amrabat instead, before things fell apart.
It is reported that Klopp called Amrabat personally to persuade him of a switch to Merseyside over Manchester, while only a 'hitch' from inside the player's camp delayed and, ultimately, ended the possibility of a deal.
However, rather than an embarrassing transfer episode to rival the chaos that surrounded the much-publicised failed Moises Caicedo and Romeo Lavia moves, Liverpool appear to have acted shrewdly under the circumstances.
It is claimed that after Amrabat's camp put talks on hold for 24 hours, Liverpool decided to focus on the 21-year-old Gravenberch, who "was viewed as a younger and better fit for Klopp’s needs."
It's entirely plausible that Liverpool could have been in conversations with various players' teams right up until the eve of Deadline Day, though it is more likely that Amrabat would've been viewed as a backup option if Gravenberch could not be signed. The Reds left it late in the window to complete their business, while it was unclear if Bayern would sanction a move for their number 38 at all.
In the end the Netherlands' international was allowed to leave, though the German champions failed to secure a replacement, with a move for Fulham's Joao Palhinha falling apart on Deadline Day and (briefly) throwing Liverpool's plans into doubt at the eleventh hour.
Gravenberch, who had been tracked by Liverpool since his Ajax days, made his debut off the bench during the Reds' 3-1 win over Wolves, while he got his first assist in the Europa League group stage opener against LASK, setting up Luis Diaz during another 3-1 victory.