Football News

Real Madrid star Rodrygo reveals why he rejected a move to Liverpool

By CJ Smith

Real Madrid star Rodrygo reveals why he rejected a move to Liverpool

Published: 13:00, 9 April 2024

Real Madrid forward Rodrygo has revealed the details behind a failed move that would have seen him join Liverpool back in 2017. 

The Brazilian joined Los Blancos from Santos in the summer of 2019 for a fee in excess of €45m and has gone on to become a key player at the club, notching 92 direct goal involvements (52g/40a) in 207 appearances. During that time, he’s lifted multiple major honours, including two La Liga titles and the 2022 Champions League.

Liverpool were the side Real Madrid beat in that 2022 final in Paris and it was sure to be a surreal experience for Rodrygo on a personal level. The 23-year-old was heavily linked with a move to Liverpool back in 2017 but ended up staying at Santos for another two years, where he made his senior breakthrough with 80 appearances and 17 goals.

Rodrygo is preparing to face Liverpool’s rivals Manchester City in their Champions League quarter-final first leg on Tuesday and ahead of that match, the Brazil international confirmed he did indeed receive a generous offer from the Reds that included educational benefits. But in an honest recalling of the event, Rodrygo revealed it was he who turned down the transfer in favour of staying with Santos a little longer.

“We didn’t close the deal because I didn’t want to,” Rodrygo said. “I wanted to stay at Santos even though the offer was very good. The pathway they promised me would also have been very good for my career. I was going to finish my studies in England to prepare for European football.

“It had always been my dream to play in Europe. Everything was very good, but my desire spoke louder. I wanted to stay at Santos and make a bit of history at the club. And that’s what happened.

“I was able to fulfil my dream of playing for Santos. But it’s true, I almost went to Liverpool.”

Rodrygo’s revelation sets the record straight after fellow Brazilian and former Manchester City playmaker Elano — who was interim manager of Santos back in 2017 — stated the youngster rejected Liverpool’s offer because it was ‘low’.

“There was strong interest from Liverpool for the kid when he was in the youth teams and they wanted him, but the offer was low,” said Elano. “Then the offer arrived from Real Madrid, I had a chat with the club and I told them the kid was worth gambling on and that I would like to work with him.

“He already had this ability at a young age. There are very few players that are like that when they’re so young. He’s already mature and has a personality to his game.”

Rodrygo is enjoying another fine campaign with Real Madrid, hitting 13 goals and seven assists in 38 combined La Liga and Champions League appearances alone, with that record extending to 15 goals and eight assists across all competitions.