Liverpool only landed Mohamed Salah after Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Julian Brandt snubbed Kop

Kop sporting director Michael Edwards, Dave Fallows – head of recruitment – and chief scout Barry Hunter all wanted the brilliant Egyptian when he chose to swap Basel for Chelsea in 2014.

The transfer triumvirate followed the 25-year-old’s progress through his miserable Blues stint and his resurgence at Fiorentina and Roma.

But The Times reports that Brandt was the first-choice target before the start of the season, ahead of the man now earning Lionel Messi comparisons.

Last season the 21-year-old scored three and created nine Bundesliga goals in 32 appearances.

This season Brandt has improved in front of goal with eight league strikes and three assists in 31 game so far.

Salah has notched 31 in the Premier League, one in the FA Cup and, 11 in the Champions League and another four for Egypt – making it 47 in 51 for club and country.

Brandt swerved Anfield as he was convinced he would not start often enough while Jurgen Klopp had Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Sade Mane in his squad.

NO SAL Liverpool tell Real Madrid £200m-rated Mohamed Salah is not for sale

After missing on Salah in 2014, Liverpool studiously monitored 15 attacking wide players.

The club went to great lengths to ensure they were signing someone to fit in perfectly with their style and ethos.

Background checks were carried out on top of the usual scouting missions to training sessions and matches.

And Salah’s dedication and humble off-field attitude convinced them that he was the perfect person to join the Red revolution – and he did the rest.

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