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As Liverpool pursued midfielders over the summer they were often linked with Sofyan Amrabat, who joined Man United despite issues in his medical.
Prior to the late signings of Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch, a number of midfielders were tipped for moves to join Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai.
Amrabat was one of those listed to journalists on Merseyside ahead of Fabinho‘s £40 million move to Al-Ittihad, along with Gravenberch, Romeo Lavia and Kalvin Phillips.
It wasn’t the first time the Morocco midfielder had been linked, either, with widespread stories around the World Cup touting him with a switch to Anfield.
Mid-August, though, This Is Anfield‘s David Lynch reported that, while there had been interest in Amrabat, Liverpool would not be following up with a bid.
Eventually Amrabat joined Man United on deadline day, with Fiorentina agreeing a season-long loan for an up-front fee of £8.5 million, with an option to buy for £21.4 million.
The deal was a strange one, given Amrabat’s contract in Florence expires next summer, when he could feasibly join United as a free agent.
But details emerging from his medical ahead of signing, via The Athletic, may explain why it was United, not Liverpool, who pursued the move.
Medical staff are explained to have “detected a minor back injury” during Amrabat’s checks, which came after persistent back issues during the World Cup.
Amrabat required painkilling injections to get through games in Qatar, where he was widely considered one of the players of the tournament as Morocco reached the semi-finals.
While the injury is “not thought to be serious,” there will have been concerns over the long-term nature of the issue for a 27-year-old.
The risks of bringing in a player with known fitness problems are clear, though in United’s case they are protected to an extent by the deal being a loan.
If Liverpool had pursued Amrabat and his issues persisted it would have represented not only a financial loss, but also a new problem to solve within Jurgen Klopp‘s squad.
A deal for Nabil Fekir fell through in 2018 with it reported that a knee injury prompted the club to pull out, though the player himself has since described that as an “excuse,” instead blaming his former agent for the collapse.
Loic Remy is another player who saw a proposed move to Liverpool fall through, while Calvin Ramsay‘s back issues went undetected upon his switch from Aberdeen last summer, leading to a long-term absence.
Regardless, fitness worries aside, there was little chance of Liverpool paying £8.5 million to sign a player for nine months – as they are not run like United.
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