Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he was interested in signing Jadon Sancho, but the culture surrounding transfers between English clubs prevented a deal from taking place.
Sancho left Manchester City for Borussia Dortmund this past summer and has rapidly become a key contributor for the German club.
In the same transfer window, Liverpool brought in the likes of Mohamed Salah, Andrew Robertson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Dominic Solanke, the latter of whom was sold to Bournemouth in January.
Sancho has gone on to provide eight goals and 10 assists in 28 games, prompting Klopp to admit that he had hoped to sign the youngster from Machester City last summer.
However, the Reds manager says German clubs are in prime position to pounce on English talent like Sancho given the current culture between top clubs in the Premier League.
“Buying English players is a smart idea [for Bundesliga clubs] because we would never have a chance to get Sancho,” he said.
“We are not blind – we saw him, we liked him and then we think, ‘Can we get him?’ No. Because English clubs don’t sell to other English clubs.
“I don’t know exactly what the reason is for that but they don’t do it. Now, they can go to Germany which is a wonderful league.”
Klopp isn’t the only manager to admit to pushing to sign Sancho as former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenge says he too was interested in the young winger.
German legend Lothar Matthaus said that signing Sancho was like “winning the lottery” for Borussia Dortmund, who sit atop the Bundesliga with a three-point lead over Bayern Munich, Liverpool’s Champions League opponents.
The Reds are set to play host to Bayern on Tuesday at Anfield as the two powerhouses kickstart their round of 16 tie .
Dortmund, meanwhile, fell to Tottenham in their own round of 16 opener and will now look to erase a 3-0 deficit heading home for the second leg.
Next up for Dortmund, though, is a home match against Bayer Leverkusen, having failed to win any of the club’s last five matches in all competitions following Monday’s 0-0 draw with Nurnberg.