How Liverpool could have signed new £55m Man City star Doku for just £500k – but former player ‘talked him out of it’


JEREMY DOKU is set to become Manchester City’s latest big signing but the winger could have had a different career path if not for a former Liverpool star.

The Belgian winger looks set to join the Citizens for £55million after emerging as an exceptional talent at Ligue 1 side Rennes.

GettyJeremy Doku almost joined Liverpool in 2018[/caption]

GettyBut he was talked out of the move by Sadio Mane[/caption]

However, he could have been wearing the red of Liverpool five years ago as he was close to a move to Anfield during his time at Anderlecht in 2018.

Liverpool has thought that they had beaten the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal for his signature when he was just 15 years old.

Doku, 21, even spoke and was given a signed Mohamed Salah shirt by the club.

If the deal had been completed, then Liverpool would have only had to have paid a compensation fee for his development, which is thought to have been around £500,000.

This would have been a snip compared to the £55m that Man City are forking out.

But the move never materialised, as Doku revealed in 2021 that a chat with Sadio Mane made him realise that he “still had time” to mature before making his big move.

Speaking to Ouest-France about the failed Liverpool switch, Doku said: “My 16th birthday was coming up, the age you can sign a pro contract.

“A lot of teams came to see me – Liverpool was the most concrete interest but there was also Arsenal and Chelsea.


“I went with my mum and dad, and we were given a tour of the stadium, the training ground, even the school I would go to.

“They gave me a signed Salah shirt, and I met the players.

“I was able to discuss with Jurgen, Gerrard too, we looked at some video moments, and he spoke about the development.

“We met players, [Simon] Mignolet because he was Belgian, [Georginio] Wijnaldum from the Netherlands.

“I talked a lot with Mane, but we didn’t really talk about football. We talked about everything.

“He told me that I was young, that I still had time… he wasn’t trying to convince me or to say to me ‘come here, you will succeed’.”

Doku also admitted that he felt like he “needed” to stay in Belgium in order to develop and insisted that if he was good enough he would get his big move eventually.

He added: “I preferred to be careful. I know what my trajectory had to be.

“That’s why, at 15, I told myself it had become serious because I’d seen my career. I knew what route I needed to take and I knew at that moment I needed to stay at Anderlecht.

“As soon as I’m asked if I regret it, I always say no, because if Liverpool came to me at 15, if they like me, they’ll come back later, that’s certain. It’s up to me to play well.”

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