Liverpool made a bid of €35m (£29m) for Villarreal winger Samuel Chukwueze during the January transfer window, according to France Football. The 20-year-old, who is also interesting Manchester City and Chelsea, has been tracked by the Reds for a while.
However, their offer was reportedly rejected by Villarreal with his club demanding that the €65m (£55m) release clause should be paid for the Nigerian international.
This approach may well have come before the details were announced about the African Cup of Nations being switched back to January and many supporters on Twitter don’t think Chukwueze will now be a priority:
We should get Adama Traore instead!
— Gabriel! (@Melanated_Gab) 11 February 2020
Not sure about this, because of the AFCoN🤔
— ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 🌹 (@Stevethered2) 11 February 2020
Don't tell Arsenal and City they will cash 55m and snatch the deal!
— Mohamed Kheyre (@Dalmare114) 11 February 2020
we hav Wilson why even bid for this guy … Guys 💤💤
— DesDan51 (@OseiDanso510) 11 February 2020
We need to stop buying African players. AFCON has ruined it
— Andy Hall (@Andy_Hall89) 10 February 2020
I dont think we will be targetting african players from now onwards. To be missing keita salah and mane in jan for 4 weeks is already too much to handle.
— ADAM ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (@RomeoLFC) 11 February 2020
100% AFCON now effects our interest. with that and them asking for 2.5x what we offered its never going to hapoen this one!
— FI–AnfieldDreamer–🇧🇷🇪🇬🇸🇳 (@FIAnfieldDream1) 10 February 2020
This was a supposed bid b4 they decided to move the AFCON back to Jan
— Jnr Birko (@TomBirks5) 10 February 2020
The extended AFCON tournament will run between January 9th and February 6th 2021, meaning Liverpool will be without their African stars for almost a month.
With Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita expected to be involved in the competition, it will leave the Reds without three of their key stars. Adding Chukwueze (who is reportedly being targeted as cover for Salah) would leave Liverpool without a fourth first-team player. I think it is fair to assume that the Merseyside club will move on to other targets.