He was regarded as one of the finest young midfielders in the European game around this time, and it is no surprise Liverpool were hoping to take him to Anfield.

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» Liverpool made serious moves to sign Piotr Zielinski from Udinese in 2016, on the back of his two impressive seasons on loan at Empoli. Jurgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager, remains a fan of the 24-year-old Poland midfielder, who now plays for Serie A challengers Napoli. Zielinski had starred in his two seasons with Empoli, helping the minnows secure their top flight status, under Maurizio Sarri in 2014/15 and Marco Giampaolo the following campaign. He was regarded as one of the finest young midfielders in the European game around this time, and it is no surprise Liverpool were hoping to take him to Anfield. Zielinski himself has revealed just how much Klopp wanted him on Merseyside that summer, with the pair even holding a meeting as talks between Liverpool and Udinese continued over reaching a deal. Latest transfer news gossip Man United news live: Dutch ace wanted as new right-back, West Ham star on radar gossip Liverpool news live: Salah ‘rejects ?150million exit’, Ajax set Ziyech price latest Man United target Dutch defender, Spurs to sell Rose and sign Sessegnon latest Arsenal transfer news live: Top target ‘not for sale’, Ziyech to cost just ?30m GOING NOWHERE Bournemouth send firm response to Arsenal over Ryan Fraser interest London bound?1xbet movi Arsenal target Dennis Praet agent confirms interest in player STAYING PUT Gonzalo Higuain will see out his contract at Juventus, agent confirms HAMMER-TO-BE West Ham ‘have bid accepted’ for in-demand LaLiga striker SILVER LINING Ex-Hazard team-mate says losing him not a complete disaster for Chelsea TEAM-UP Lampard could hire Mourinho as ‘adviser’ if he takes Chelsea job, suggests ex-Blue bienvenido Why Real Madrid signed ‘most promising’ player and not any other big club REVIVED Man United ‘make contact’ with Monaco star’s agent as they seek Pogba replacement However, no deal was reached, and Napoli convinced Zielinski that the San Paolo was the best place for him to continue his career. As revealed by Fabrizio Corsi, the Empoli president, to Calciomercato: “He [Zielinski] was meant to play for Liverpool. “When he came to Naples, he had that option, but they did really well to convince him. 2 Zielinski caught the eye playing for Empoli, on loan from Udinese “I have a few regrets regarding him. I was working with Udinese’s interests in mind, who then had an agreement with Naples.” In the end Zielinski secured a switch to Naples, where he linked up with his former Empoli boss, Maurizio Sarri. » » 1 Greg Rutherford won long jump gold at the World Championships in Beijing to complete the full set of major titles Greg Rutherford won long jump gold at the World Championships in Beijing to complete the full set of major titles. The 28-year-old produced his biggest jump of the year when he needed it most, soaring out to 8.41 metres to add the world crown to his Olympic, European and Commonwealth successes. Rutherford, whose victory took Great Britain’s medal tally in Beijing to three – all gold, following in the footsteps of Mo Farah and Jesica Ennis-Hill – received no real challenge in a competition littered with fouls, taking the lead from round two and responding to his winning fourth-round attempt by punching the air and roaring with delight. Silver went to Australia’s Fabrice Lapierre with 8.24m and bronze to China’s Jianan Wang with 8.18m. «