Marseille midfielder Maxime Lopez has admitted that he declined a move to join Liverpool, despite being offered the chance to eventually become Philippe Coutinho’s replacement.
The 19-year-old, who has massively impressed in Ligue 1 this term, was told by Liverpool’s hierarchy in 2014 that he could step up into the first-team to play instead of the Brazil international.
Lopez was also introduced to Reds legend Steven Gerrard as the club attempted to secure his services at Anfield.
“They told me [that] in five years, you’ll play [Philippe] Coutinho’s position.” Lopez told L’Equipe.
“They really sang my praises. I even met Steven Gerrard in the stadium after the match.
“I wanted to go there, but also to stay at OM. To leave like that, at that age even with my family would have gone too, it was very hard.
“I had noted that they had 30-odd young professional players, not even counting the first-team. You really have to be ready mentally.”
Lopez’s shining form this season has seen scouts from Chelsea and Arsenal watch him as well as Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool continuing to monitor the France Under-20 international.
By Drew Darbyshire (@DarbySports)