While Liverpool turned their attention to Ozan Kabak on transfer deadline day to bolster their defence, he wasn’t their first choice.

Many stories of the Reds offering vast sums of money to various clubs for their centre-backs emerged during or after the January window, with Marseille’s Duje Caleta-Car one of them.

The Ligue 1 club received a reported offer of €23m for the Croatian centre-back, but their inability to find an adequate replacement that late on forced them to turn it away, leaving Liverpool no choice but to look elsewhere.

It was said Caleta-Car was waiting at the airport when he was told he wouldn’t be moving, and the player has now spoken about it for the first-time.

Speaking to the press ahead of their catch up game against OGC Nice, he was asked about his failed move to Anfield.

Embed from Getty Images

He said, relayed by RMC Sport: “Today, there’s the Champions League and I’m going to watch both games. I received an offer from Liverpool. It was an honour for me to know that such a club wanted me. We decided with [Marseille] that I would stay. Marseille are also a great club and I’ve still got a lot of progress to undergo here.”

As for whether he has any regrets about the move not going through: “I was really very happy to get an offer from them. Liverpool is one of the biggest clubs in the world. It could have been a great step in my career, but I’m happy at Marseille, who are also a great club, and we’ll see what happens.”

That last sentence suggests the door could be open for a move in the summer, but that will depend on what’s available to Caleta-Car once the season ends.

The 24-year-old has been one of the bigger presences in Marseille’s line up this season, making 21 appearances in the league, during which he’s helped out with two goals and an assist as well as picking up five yellow cards.