Samuel Umtiti ‘refused Liverpool move’ in closing stages of January window

Samuel Umtiti turned down the chance to join Liverpool in the closing stages of the January transfer window, according to reports in Spain.

The Premier League champions were forced to dip into the winter market late on after losing yet another defender to injury last week.

With star men Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez already facing a battle to play again this season, Joel Matip joined them on the long-term injury list by damaging ankle ligaments during their 3-1 win away at Tottenham.

The centre-back is now also expected to miss the rest of the campaign, leaving Jurgen Klopp with no choice but to sign two emergency replacements before last Monday's transfer deadline.

Liverpool first sealed a shock £2million deal to sign Ben Davies from Preston, before taking Ozan Kabak on loan from Schalke until the end of the season.

Yet according to Mundo Deportivo, the Reds were eyeing up Barcelona star Umtiti and Marseille's Duje Caleta-Car before opting to sign Davies and Kabak.

It is believed sporting director Michael Edwards pursued deals for Umtiti and Caleta-Car, only for both to prove unsuccessful.

Marseille first blocked any potential move for Caleta-Car, mainly due to the fact they were unable to find a replacement before the deadline.

Nevertheless, it was Umtiti who allegedly “refused to go to Anfield” when Liverpool came calling late on in the window.

The Frenchman did not want to leave Barca midway through the season as he is instead looking to work his way back into Ronald Koeman’s first-team plans in Catalonia.

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  • Amid a series of injuries, he has only racked up five La Liga appearances this term and appears unlikely to have a long-term future at the Nou Camp even if he does regainsa place in Koeman’s starting XI.

    Reports suggest Barca will look to offload Umtiti in the summer transfer window, with just over two years remaining on his current contract.

    He has made 123 appearances since joining the Spanish club from Lyon in 2016, scoring two goals and winning as many La Liga titles.

    Meanwhile, Kabak and Davies will be hoping to earn a place in Klopp’s Liverpool squad for their crunch clash with Manchester City at Anfield on Sunday afternoon.

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