BAKU, AZERBAIJAN - Tuesday, June 15, 2021: Turkey's Orkun Kokcu during a training session at the Baku Olympic Stadium ahead of the UEFA Euro 2020 Group A match between Turkey and Wales. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool ‘asked midfielder to wait’ – but bid didn’t arrive

Liverpool do not put all their eggs in one basket and that has been the case with their midfield search, they told one specific target to wait before failing to make a meaningful move.

The Reds wasted little time securing Alexis Mac Allister‘s signature, the first of what many hope to be a handful of signings this summer.

Further midfield and defensive reinforcements are expected but we can see that Liverpool have not deviated from their transfer strategy when it comes to lining up potential additions.

According to Dutch outlet 1908.NL, the Reds were “quite close” to making a move for Turkish midfielder Orkun Kokcu, and they asked the 22-year-old not to sign for Benfica.

However, the Feyenoord captain was announced as a new signing for the Portuguese club on June 10, with Liverpool having never made an offer before the Dutch club’s deadline date.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 28, 2023: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp before the FA Premier League match between Southampton FC and Liverpool FC at St Mary's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It is not the first time the Reds have gone window shopping and placed a player in their basket before never following through – they make sure to have options.

However, you can only drag out a convincing argument for so long before another party loses interest or looks elsewhere, which is what happened with Kokcu, if reports are to be believed.

Liverpool were linked with Kokcu throughout the year and for good reason, he is versatile across midfield and availability is one of his greatest assets – something the Reds need more of.

At 22, he has made 175 senior appearances and that is the threshold Liverpool typically like to have when it comes to assessing a player’s ability and qualities.

He completed the most progressive passes in the Eredivisie in 2022/23 and is typically found on the left of midfield. With a price tag in the region of €30 million (£25.7m), one can assume Liverpool opted to pursue Mac Allister instead.

Brighton and Man United were both credited with interest but, in the end, it was Benfica that landed the exciting young midfielder.

The Reds, meanwhile, continue to be linked with the likes of Gabri Veiga, Khephren Thuram, Manu Kone and Ryan Gravenberch.