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Liverpool rejected deadline day deals for duo – as winger interest fell through

Liverpool saw one leave and one return from loan on deadline day, but it could have been a busier end to the transfer window, with a £15 million bid rejected.

As transfer deadline days go, this was one of the least anticipated of Jurgen Klopp‘s tenure at Liverpool – and a low yardstick had already been set.

With the manager announcing his departure at the end of the season and sporting director Jorg Schmadtke seeing out his final day at the club on Thursday, few deals were expected.

In fact, the only confirmed transfer on deadline day was centre-back Billy Koumetio‘s late loan move to Blackburn.

Koumetio had seen his previous stint at USL Dunkerque terminated due to a lack of opportunities, and in reality, a move to the Championship seems unlikely to herald many more.

Another young defender returned from the briefest of loan spells, too, with Rhys Williams‘ stay at Port Vale lasting just 16 days due to injury.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 10, 2024: Liverpool's goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher during the Football League Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and Fulham FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool did field calls from another Premier League side on deadline day, with Nottingham Forest making a bid for Caoimhin Kelleher.

Per the Mail, Forest offered £15 million for the backup goalkeeper as they searched for a new No. 1, but this was promptly rejected.

The Reds are said to value Kelleher at “in excess of £20 million,” with Forest instead sealing a deal with Strasbourg for Belgian stopper Matz Sels, worth around £5 million.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, January 31, 2024: Liverpool's Bobby Clark during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 4-1. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There was also a late decision to make over youngster Bobby Clark, who had attracted a number of clubs from the Football League.

But after coming off the bench in the 4-1 win over Chelsea on Wednesday night, The Athletic’s James Pearce reported that the 18-year-old was “going nowhere.”

“Young midfielder [is] now regarded as [an] important part of Liverpool’s first-team [squad],” Pearce wrote on Twitter, citing “lots of loan interest.”

BRADFORD, ENGLAND - Tuesday, December 5, 2023: Liverpool's Harvey Blair during the English Football League Trophy Round of 32 match between Bradford City AFC and Liverpool FC Under-21's at Valley Parade. (Photo by Ed Sykes/Propaganda)

There were also clubs pursuing one of Clark’s team-mates at U21 level, winger Harvey Blair, who earlier in January had sides from England, Belgium and Denmark circling.

This Is Anfield understands any potential move for the 20-year-old fell through due to ongoing fitness issues.

Finally, it seemed possible that Mateusz Musialowski would depart Liverpool before the end of the window – and potentially to another club in England, with Leeds and Birmingham linked.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, August 14, 2023: Liverpool's Mateusz Musialowski drives forward with the ball during the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Liverpool FC Under-21's and Everton FC Under-21's, the Mini-Merseyside Derby, at the Liverpool Academy. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

No deal materialised, though, with Birmingham instead signing Alex Pritchard from Sunderland and Leeds only bringing in full-back Connor Roberts from Burnley.

Musialowski could still leave Merseyside this month, though, with the transfer window open in his native Poland until February 22 – though the forward has expressed his desire not to return at this stage in his career.