Gary Neville has expressed his surprise that Liverpool appear to have allowed Chelsea to sign long-term target Timo Werner for £52m.
The Blues are on the brink of landing the German star from RB Leipzig after the Reds, as revealed by Mirror Sport, pulled out of the race.
It was believed, however, that Werner was initially more keen on a move to Liverpool, after admitting earlier in the season that he was a huge admirer of their team and their manager Jurgen Klopp.
Speaking to Sky Sports , Neville admitted he was taken aback when it became clear that the 23-year-old was bound for Stamford Bridge, and felt the signing could have set down a huge marker to Liverpool’s Premier League rivals.
“His signing would have sent out an incredible statement,” Neville said.
“He is a great striker, a young one that fits the profile of a Jurgen Klopp team. It would have told everybody else where they are at.
“But we understand the financial difficulties everybody is in. Maybe Chelsea had a better deal on the table. Or maybe Liverpool didn’t want to go to the levels they had previously agreed to.”
Chelsea and Leipzig are said to be in advanced talks about how the deal for Werner will be structured, and are confident that there will be no further hold-ups.
He will join Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech in joining the club this summer after the Blues agreed a deal to sign the attacking midfielder in February.
It appears unlikely they will stop there either, with their manager Frank Lampard keen for further signings ahead of next season.
He has apparently identified Leicester full-back Ben Chilwell as a target, while they could raid Germany again for Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz, although the asking price of £90m may prove to be too steep.