Last year, Liverpool went close to signing Santos superstar full-back Zeca, a Brazilian player at the top of his strengths who had just won the Olympics with the national team.
Many other clubs, among those AC Milan and Atletico Madrid who had eyes on this 23-year-old talent, he eventually chose to remain at Santos.
At the time, he seemed to have made the right choice, as his club ended a magnificent season by reaching a deserved second place in the league and qualifying for Copa Libertadores.
The qualification euphoria didn't last very long, as the new season brought problems and disagreements between Santos and their enigmatic fullback.
In the first part of the year, Zeca suffered a few injuries that kept him from playing and after which he struggled to play as well as he used to. Moreover, Santos were eliminated from both Copa Libertadores and Copa do Brasil, and only reached the third place.
This led the 24-year-old to constant frustration, and, especially, to engage in a series of furious rows with Santos' fans online.
Tensions between Zeca and the club worsened as the time went by until this week he reportedly missed two training sessions and asked for a recession with Santos in court.
According to Brazilian media outlet Globo Esporte, in fact, the 24-year-old has decided to take legal action against his current club in order to end the contract immediately.
An official note from the press office explains the reasons behind Zeca's action: "Up to now, Zeca has been facing curses and external pressures, which unfortunately happens to many soccer players. In recent days, however, the situation worsened and he was constantly threatened in his social networks."
A hearing has been scheduled for April, although Zeca and Santos seem to have already ended their relationship. This could be an ideal opportunity for the Brazilian full-back to leave the country and try out European football.
His departure would also represent an opportunity for Jurgen Klopp to reclaim his interest in the youngster, and convince him to join Liverpool.