ENGLISH Premier League leaders Liverpool have pulled out of the quest to purchase Super Eagles winger Samuel Chukwueze from Spanish side Villarreal this summer after coming to the conclusion that his €60m is more than the club can afford.
Chukwueze, 20, is one of the hottest properties in European football at the moment, compared with Dutch star Arjen Robben as a promising and dashing winger. Liverpool have been monitoring his progress for a while and at one stage submitted a €35m bid to Villarreal for his services but it was rejected.
With the English Premier League due to resume this month, most clubs have resumed planning for purchases at the end of the season. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is a big fan of Chukwueze and has tried to sign him twice during the last two transfer windows before settling for Takumi Minamino.
It now appears that Mr Klopp has finally given up as Liverpool’s finances are not as healthy as they normally would be thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. As a teenager Chukwueze starred in the 2015 under-17 World Cup, scoring seven goals in seven matches as Nigeria were crowned champions.
Lionel Messi placed him third in his vote for the Kopa Trophy, an award for players under 21. Chukwueze eventually finished ninth in the poll, which is voted for by former Ballon d’Or winners.
Chukwueze has a €60m buyout clause in his contract and Villarreal appears to be insisting that it be honoured before releasing the winger. Chukwueze was revealed as one of the 50 youngsters to watch in world football by Uefa’s official website.