Alberto Moreno has claimed he could have still had two years on his contract left at Liverpool, had he signed the long-term deal offered to him before his exit.
Moreno spent five years on Merseyside, making 141 appearances, before departing on a free transfer to Villarreal after success in the Champions League final.
However, he was certainly a talented option at left-back, so much so that Liverpool were hoping to keep him at Anfield for close to a decade.
Speaking to El Periodico Mediterraneo, Moreno claimed that he was presented with a new five-year contract in 2018 – but having already dropped to second choice, he opted to see out the remainder of his existing deal.
“In my fifth year I was offered to renew, but for another five years. And I said ‘no’,” he explained.
“I lived many years in England, I have three children and I spoke with my wife and we decided that the best thing was to return to Spain. I just wanted to go back to Spain.”
Moreno added that he felt he “had to get out of there,” referencing “strange things” that happened to him as Klopp turned to a right-footed midfielder in Milner ahead of him.
If the 29-year-old had signed the contract offered, he would still be at Anfield with two years remaining, and in all likelihood, Kostas Tsimikas would not have been signed.
While it could be questioned whether Moreno is telling the exact truth, his claim certainly checks out given reports back from 2018, when it was explained that he had opted out of talks with the Reds.
Barcelona, Aston Villa, Lazio, Marseille, Zenit St Petersburg, Sevilla and Real Sociedad were all credited with an interest but Moreno says Villarreal made the most persuasive pitch.
He has suffered injury problems during his time back in Spain, but he has played 32 times for the club over the past two years and is regarded as a valuable member of the squad.
There is no ill feeling between Moreno and Liverpool, of course, as he remains an ardent supporter of his old side, and his comments open up a minor ‘what could have been’ scenario.