Klopp’s “perfect” left-back search: Lucas Digne & Mattia De Sciglio bids ‘rejected’

Jurgen Klopp may have pushed to sign a new left-back this summer, with reports suggesting he missed out on Lucas Digne.

“If we would have found the perfect fit, with all the things around—it’s not about money, only playing style, defending skills, offensive skills, technical things,” Klopp said in August.

“If we could have found this then you would have known because we would have made the transfer.”

Addressing questions as to whether he would sign a left-back before the transfer window closed on August 31, Klopp remained composed, suggesting he was content with his current options.

But as Barcelona technical secretary Robert Fernandez told Spanish publication Sport this week, it seems that Klopp was in fact chasing Digne, who ultimately left Paris Saint-Germain for the Catalan club.

“PSG already had an offer from a good English team but when we got in touch with the manager [he] told us that the player only wanted to come to Barcelona,” Fernandez explained.

As the Mirror‘s David Anderson revealed in July, the Reds did enquire as to Digne’s availability before he moved to Barcelona, leaving Klopp without one of his primary targets.

Digne would arguably have solved Klopp’s search for the “perfect fit,” boasting a blossoming defensive quality as well as an impressive attacking bent.

CHARLOTTE, USA - Saturday, August 2, 2014: Liverpool's 'Suso' Jesus Joaquin Fernandez Saenz De La Torre in action against AC Milan's Mattia De Sciglio during the International Champions Cup Group B match at the Bank of America Stadium on day thirteen of the club's USA Tour. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Instead, however, Klopp was left to turn to alternatives targets, such as Leicester City youngster Ben Chilwell, who went on to sign a new five-year contract with the Premier League champions.

Furthermore, according to reports in Italy, Liverpool also made an approach for AC Milan’s versatile full-back Mattia De Sciglio.

Sport Mediaset claim that the Reds were among the clubs to pursue Italy international De Sciglio this summer, with Napoli also named.

Their offer was rebuffed, however, leaving Klopp to resort to his backup plan, which seemingly is moulding James Milner into his first-choice left-back.

Digne opting for Barcelona—and another target, Jonas Hector, extending his contract with Cologne—ensures Klopp will likely need to turn elsewhere if he is to sign a new left-back in the future.

It may be telling, therefore, that two other rumoured targets, PSV Eindhoven’s Jetro Willems and Hull City‘s Andrew Roberston, are now in the final year of their contracts.

As with the likes of Mahmoud Dahoud and Christian Pulisic, Klopp has shown a willingness to wait for key targets to become available, in order to secure value in the market.

This could also come with Hoffenheim centre-back Niklas Sule, with Sport Bild reporting this week that the 21-year-old turned down a move to Merseyside this summer.

In an interview last week, Klopp lamented the instant demand for results in English football, and it seems the German will be required to translate this patient approach to the transfer market, too.

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