Brendan Rodgers ‘underestimated’ Arsene Wenger in the transfer market in Alexis Sanchez pursuit

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24: Arsene Wenger the Arsenal Manager before the Carabao Cup Fourth Round match between Arsenal and Norwich City at Emirates Stadium on October 24, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Wenger was underestimated (Picture: Getty)

Brendan Rodgers failed to land Alexis Sanchez when he was Liverpool manager, because he ‘underestimated’ Arsene Wenger in the transfer market.

Rodgers, who is now coaching Leicester City, was ‘desperate’ to replace Luis Suarez with the Chile international, who is currently on loan at Inter Milan from Manchester United, his top target.

Suarez had departed Anfield to join Barcelona and Sanchez was viewed as the ideal man to bring in, but Wenger pipped them to a deal.

Rodgers had not recognised how much the Arsenal boss was desperate to sign him, according to The Athletic, and also hadn’t factored in how wide the Frenchman’s reach was.

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Wenger met with Sanchez in three Brazilian cities during the 2014 World Cup, while Rodgers and chief executive Ian Ayre based themselves in Rio waiting for an opportunity to snare the wide man.

Sanchez signed for Arsenal and was a huge hit at the Emirates for four years before heading to Old Trafford – a deal that has proved to be a disaster for Manchester United.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 26: Alexis Sanchez of Arsenal celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the UEFA Champions League Group D match between Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund at the Emirates Stadium on November 26, 2014 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Sanchez was a hit at Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

Liverpool were left scrambling around in the transfer market.

A deal to sign Loic Remy was agreed but he failed a medical during a pre-season tour in Boston.

Wilfried Bony, then at Swansea, was also considered but his wage demands were too high.

And Rodgers ended up signing Balotelli, a player he had ruled out signing earlier in the summer.

‘I can categorically tell you that Mario Balotelli will not be at Liverpool,’ he had told the media. Three weeks later he joined the club.

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