Liverpool would've gone in for Manchester City's Aymeric Laporte had their £75m deal with Southampton for Virgil van Dijk failed to come to fruition.
In January 2018, the Reds broke the world record transfer fee for a centre-back by bringing in the Dutchman from Southampton.
However, according to Paul Joyce of The Times, had Jurgen Klopp's side missed out on the deal to sign the former Celtic man then they would've bid for Aymeric Laporte, then of Athletic Bilbao.
Joyce declared: "When Manchester City decided that Van Dijk was too expensive at £70 million last January (he wanted to sign for Liverpool anyway) they spent £57 million on Aymeric Laporte as an alternative.
"Ironically, Laporte was Liverpool’s second choice if Van Dijk had remained out of reach."
Aymeric Laporte, who Manchester City spent £57 million in January, was Liverpool’s second choice if Virgil van Dijk had remained out of reach, according to Paul Joyce.— Oliver Bond (@Oliver__Bond) October 17, 2018
The duo, who were signed in the same window for a combined £132m, have since carved out significant roles at their respective clubs. Van Dijk has played 32 times for Liverpool, picking up one goal, one assist and four yellow cards.
Meanwhile, the 24-year-old Frenchman, who had a slightly more staggered integration period in Manchester, has collected 24 appearances for the Citizens, scoring once and receiving one yellow card.
With different styles and requirements, both clubs will undoubtedly be happy with their signing, though it would be difficult to argue that Laporte has had a greater impact than Van Dijk.
In the 23 Premier League games that the 27-year-old has played for Liverpool since his arrival, the team have conceded just 12 goals. He has been a warrior for the Reds so far, and the revelation that he's been playing through the pain of two broken ribs in the last few weeks only cemented his status at the Kop.