The agent of Mainz defender Jean-Philippe Gbamin has claimed that Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp made a personal phone call to his old club last year in a failed attempt to secure the centre-back's signature.
Gbamin, who joined the German outfit from Lens for €5m in 2016, made 33 appearances in all competitions for the club last year, collecting two goals and an assist as they finished 12th in the Bundesliga.
Though Die Nullfunfer had an unspectacular season, the centre-back was outstanding at the back, receiving plenty of praise for his performances.
As a result of his splendid showings last campaign, Gbamin's representative - Bernard Collignon - believes it would take a bid of approximately £54m to convince Mainz to sell, a figure that has greatly increased since Klopp called up his former employers in January 2018.
However, the ex-Borussia Dortmund coach failed to land his man, instead forking out £75m for Virgil van Dijk.
Discussing the phone call, Collignon told Fussball Transfers (as quoted by the Daily Star): "Klopp called Mainz and wanted to commit him as a centre-back, who also helps out in midfield.
"But, Mainz did not want to let him go in the middle of a relegation battle. In the summer, Liverpool signed on to Fabinho."
Collignon went on to reveal that the Reds were not the only top-level side monitoring his client, as several other Premier League clubs showed an interested in Gbamin.
"It's time for him to play as a centre-back. There he would be a top player in all four major leagues and would make a great career," Collignon concluded.