Marseille centre-back Duje Caleta-Car has confirmed rumours that suggested he was a transfer target for Liverpool in the January window.
The Reds have suffered a defensive injury crisis this season, with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez having missed most of the campaign.
Joel Matip was then ruled out for the remainder of 2020/21 in January, forcing Jurgen Klopp’s side to enter the market.
Liverpool (opens in new tab) ultimately signed Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies, with the former joining on loan from Schalke and the latter acquired from Preston.
However, the Premier League champions were linked with several other players before completing those two deals on deadline day.
Caleta-Car was one of the names mentioned as a target for Liverpool, who reportedly made an approach for the Marseille man.
The transfer is said to have collapsed because the Ligue 1 outfit were unable to secure a replacement before the end of the window (opens in new tab).
However, Caleta-Car has now suggested it was his decision to turn down a move to Anfield.
The Croatia international claims to have decided that it would be better for his development to remain at the Stade Velodrome.
“There are Champions League matches tonight,” he told reporters at a press conference ahead of Tuesday’s action in Europe.
“I'm going to watch both games, not just because I like to watch Liverpool, but because I enjoy watching the Champions League.
“It's true that I received an offer from Liverpool. I was very happy, given that they're one of the biggest clubs in Europe. It was an honour for me to know that such a big club wanted me.
"It means that my performances are good, but we decided with the club [Marseille] that I was going to stay. Olympique Marseille is also a huge club that still has a lot to offer me and I have plenty more progress to make here.
"As I've already said, Liverpool are one of the biggest clubs in the world and I was very happy to receive an offer from them. I don't regret the decision not to leave because I already play for a big club.
"Joining Liverpool and playing in one of the best leagues could've been a big step forward in my career, but I'm focused on Olympique Marseille for the moment. I'm a Marseille player and we'll see what happens in the future."
Liverpool beat RB Leipzig (opens in new tab) 2-0 on Tuesday in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie.
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