By 90Min
December 14, 2018

Liverpool were apparently incredibly close to signing Anderlecht youngster Jeremy Doku, before the owner of the Belgian side personally reached out to the 16-year-old to convince him to stay.

With Anderlecht struggling in the league, they recently handed Doku his debut in the first-team. He is widely viewed as one of Belgium's most exciting prospects and has excelled for the country's youth teams.

According to Belgian outlet Sport/FootLiverpool were incredibly close to signing the youngster earlier in 2018, only for club owner Marc Coucke to personally reach out to Doku and convince him to stay in Belgium.

Klopp's interest in Doku developed in January as Lazar Markovic negotiated his loan move from Anfield to Anderlecht. Liverpool were granted permission to meet with Doku, and were believed to be moments from finalising a deal for the promising youngster.

However, several Anderlecht coaches pleaded with Doku to try and convince him to remain at the club, and eventually Coucke stepped in to warn Doku of the dangers of moving to the Premier League

Coucke is said to have used the example of Chelsea midfielder Charly Musonda, who has struggled to live up to his exciting potential in London.

Anderlecht also opted to offer Doku a new contract, offering significantly less money than Liverpool, but club officials insisted that remaining in Belgium was the best decision for his development.

Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Liverpool are not the only side to have expressed an interest in the 16-year-old. According to Sport/Foot, Manchester United asked former Anderlecht striker Romelu Lukaku to use his ties with the club to help persuade Doku to move to Old Trafford. However, Doku remained at Anderlecht and has now made two senior appearances for the club.  

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