• Liverpool wanted to sign Caleta-Car during the January window
  • The player, however, chose to remain at Marseille
  • He has an experience of 78 first-team matches since debut in 2012

Marseille defender Duje Caleta-Car revealed that he had turned down an offer from Liverpool FC during the recently concluded January transfer market.

During the winter window, Caleta-Car was heavily linked with a move to Merseyside as Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was looking to make signings for the backline amid their ongoing defensive injury crisis.

“I received an offer from Liverpool. It was an honor for me to know that such a club wanted me. We decided with the club that I was going to stay. Marseille is also a great club and I still have a lot of improving to do here,” the 24-year-old center-back was quoted by Goal, as saying in a recent interview.

Since his arrival from Red Bull Salzburg in 2018, Caleta-Car has established himself as one of Marseille's most consistent performers. The Croatian defender has made 130 appearances for Marseille across all competitions, scoring four goals, while also picking up a Trophee des Champions runners-up medal. Overall, the young defender has the first-team experience of 78 matches on the club level and 10 competitive appearances for Croatia since making his national debut in 2018.

Liverpool were reportedly looking at Caleta-Car as an ideal cover for their injured center-back pair of Joe Gomes and Virgil van Dijk but Klopp was forced to find alternative options when the Croatia player refused to leave Marseille.

The Premier League champions eventually signed two center-backs before the January transfer window ended, with Ben Davies arriving at Anfield on a permanent deal from Championship side Preston and Ozan Kabak joining the English club on loan from Schalke. Kabak’s loan deal with Liverpool includes the buy-out option, which is expected to be triggered by Liverpool at the end of the 2020-21 season.

Duje Caleta-Car of Marseille
Duje Caleta-Car of Marseille Getty Images | Jean Catuffe

The 25-year-old Davies is yet to make his maiden Liverpool appearance, while Kabak was handed his first start at Leicester City Saturday. Unfortunately, the Reds ended up losing the game 3-1 at King Power Stadium and fell to No. 6 in the league table13 points behind leaders Manchester City. The 20-year-old Turkish defender also started Liverpool’s vital Round of 16 clashes with RB Leipzig in the Champions League Tuesday.