How close did Caleta-Car come to joining Liverpool? Southampton defender reflects on transfer near miss

Duje Caleta-Car Southampton 2022-23Getty
  • Reds needed defensive reinforcements
  • Discussed deal for Croatia international
  • Ended up having to look elsewhere

WHAT HAPPENED? Jurgen Klopp saw his defensive options at Anfield decimated by injury, meaning that reinforcements had to be found during the winter transfer window. Croatia international Caleta-Car, who is now in England at Southampton, was one of those Liverpool looked at as he caught the eye at Marseille – with a private jet readied for him before talks broke down and the Reds turned their attention to Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak.

WHAT THEY SAID: Discussing interest from Merseyside with HampshireLive ahead of Southampton’s trip to Liverpool on Saturday, Caleta-Car said: “It happened really fast. You know, they get a lot of injured players - central defenders - so my agent called me and said to me Liverpool is there. They are something different and I wanted to join them because Liverpool is one of the biggest clubs in the world. But it didn’t happen. There was something between Marseille and Liverpool but I don’t want to go into what happened. But now I’m here [at Southampton] and really enjoying it here in England. We play against Liverpool now so it’ll be a good test.”

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Caleta-Car joined the Saints over the summer and has experienced a baptism of fire on the Premier League stage, with early struggles at St Mary’s leading to Ralph Hasenhuttl being replaced by Nathan Jones in the dugout.


Duje Caleta-Car Southampton 2022-23Getty

Jurgen Klopp Liverpool 2022Getty

WHAT NEXT? Jones’ first game as Southampton boss will be a visit to Anfield, with both sides looking to pick up a positive result before domestic football shuts down during the World Cup break.

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