Fiorentina winger Christian Koffi has admitted that he was not ready for a move to Liverpool in 2018, despite interest from the Merseyside giants.
Koffi was with Monaco at the time and turned down a professional contract offer from the principality side, choosing instead to leave the club.
Though Liverpool were interested in the French-Ivorian winger, Koffi believed at the time that it would be best for his development to sign with Fiorentina.
"Everything was decided a little bit at the last moment," the 19-year-old told Goal . "I was very flattered by the interest of Liverpool, but I chose Fiorentina for my progress.
"Liverpool is more than a big club and I was not ready at this time, especially in 2018. Liverpool's team was very good. It was not the good timing, it's the truth."
Part of the reason Koffi is happy with his decision is that he's been able to learn from a legendary figure like Franck Ribery, who joined Fiorentina from Bayern Munich one year after Koffi arrived.
"It's a chance to grow with a great player like him, to learn a lot with him," Koffi added. "He's like a legend for me, we spoke a lot about him in France. He has done so much for this sport, that's why we can only admire his work.
"He's a role model. But since childhood! And now to see him for real, it's very special. He's simple, very cool. He's a very good person for the young players."
Though highly regarded, Koffi has yet to make his senior debut for Fiorentina, playing with the club's Primavera side the past two seasons. As he gets set to turn 20 in August, Koffi knows that he'll need to make a step up to the senior side next season.
"I can't play again with the Primavera next season, so yes that's the idea [to be regularly with the first team]," Koffi said.
"I had two fantastic years with the Primavera, and for the future the most important thing is the sporting project. I want to train regularly with the first team and I know that next season will be important for me. I am 100 per cent ready!"