Liverpool secured the signings of Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak in the closing hours of the January transfer deadline day, bolstering their options at centre-back as a result.
Injured duo Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez could miss the rest of the campaign, while Joel Matip and Fabinho are also out injured, leaving Jordan Henderson and inexperienced duo Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips as manager Jurgen Klopp’s current options at centre-back.
Landing a new defender was pertinent, and they brought in the Turkish defender from Schalke on loan for the rest of the season after snapping up Davies from Preston North End.
Negotiations with the Bundesliga outfit was not straightforward, though, and Liverpool had to line up a back-up should the move for Kabak fail.
Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano reported that Braga centre-back David Carmo was a serious option, but the Reds shelved a move for him once they secured a deal for the Turk.
The Sky Sports journalist has now shared details of Liverpool’s bids for the Portuguese on deadline day, claiming he was very close to joining the Premier League’s defending champions.
“That night of the deadline day, the last night of transfers, Liverpool were looking for another centre-back apart from Ben Davies,” Romano revealed on the Here we go podcast.
“So before moving on Kabak during the morning of the deadline day, they were trying for David Carmo from Baga. So, they made an official bid during the night and Braga turned it down, because they wanted €30 million guaranteed – his release clause.
“Liverpool started negotiations with Ozan Kabak and Schalke but it wasn’t so easy a negotiation. It was complicated. During lunchtime, he was having medical to be ready, but the negotiation between the player went well obviously, but the two clubs had problems with the options and the obligation to buy.
“So the loan was not so sure, they were negotiating. In this moment to have also a plan B, Liverpool were in contact again with Braga for Carmo, and they made another bid, it was an important bid, the second one, the official one, but the President of Braga turned it down again.
“While Kabak was having medical, they were trying also with Carmo because they wanted two big options to be ready if some problems was coming up with Schalke.
Schalke wanted the money guaranteed, and Liverpool said we’re going to pay you a loan fee but we can’t do obligation to buy only option to buy, during the afternoon they solved the solution with Schalke and they signed Kabak.
“They are so happy with Kabak, but David Carmo was really really close to joining Liverpool. He was a serious option, and I will say keep an eye on this guy.”
Carmo caught the eyes of Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers when his side played Braga in the Europa League group stages this season, and the former Liverpool boss was full of praise for the 21-year-old.
The Foxes were linked with the Portuguese heading into the January transfer window, and they could return for his signature in the summer after Liverpool pulled out of the deal.
Carmo has featured in 14 games across the Portuguese top-flight and Europa League so far this term, and he definitely has huge potential and talents to have attracted both Klopp and Rodgers.
The 6ft 5in centre-back will now look to keep impressing ahead of the summer transfer window, and he will not be short of options from the look of things.