Brendan Rodgers tried to bring Netherlands star Arjen Robben to Liverpool in 2013, according to Reds legend Jamie Carragher.
The 30-year-old has been one of the stars of the show at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, scoring three goals and inspiring the Dutch to the quarter-finals, where they will play Costa Rica on Saturday.
He is reportedly a summer target for Manchester United, but the Bayern Munich winger was the subject of interest from Rodgers, according to former Anfield defender Carragher, per Graeme Yorke in the Daily Mail:
Brendan Rodgers tried to sign him for Liverpool before the 2013 Champions League final. He wasn't a regular for Bayern then but he scored the winner at Wembley against Borussia Dortmund and has since gone from strength to strength. Liverpool have not had a world class wide man since John Barnes.
Yorke's report suggests current Dutch manager Louis Van Gaal—who is to take over at Old Trafford after the World Cup—wants to sign his main man for United.
But it will no doubt take some persuading, as Robben continues to prove his worth at the World Cup and bagged 11 goals and six assists in Bayern's Bundesliga-winning campaign last season, per WhoScored.com.
Indeed, Robben insisted recently that he would be staying at the Bavarian club, ruling out a move to Manchester, per De Telegraaf via Sky Sports:
Manchester United? That's not an option. I am staying at Bayern Munich. Period. And I cannot imagine that Bayern would want to sell me. I have only just renewed my contract and we are happy with each other. It would have been a different story had I been unhappy. I would have been open to a move then, because I had a great time under Van Gaal at Bayern. He has been very important for my career. However, fact is that I am very happy at my current club.
There is no doubt he would add quality to any side he joined, and if he had indeed made the switch to Liverpool in 2013, he may have inspired the Reds to the Premier League title, which they missed out on by just two points in May.
Robben looks to have all the qualities to help a strong Dutch team to go deep into the tournament in Brazil if he keeps at his current level, per ESPN's Tom Marshall, after they beat Mexico 2-1 in the last 16:
Argument that Herrera's subs weren't the best probably justified, but Robben was the difference maker in the end. Just top quality.— Tom Marshall (@mexicoworldcup) June 29, 2014
With their next game against an over-performing Costa Rica, the Netherlands should make it to the last-four as they look to go one better than 2010 when they lost to Spain in the final.
Will the Netherlands win the 2014 World Cup?
Rodgers will no doubt be rueing missing out on Robben as he watches the Dutchman's performances at the World Cup, but the Northern Irishman is already in the thick of the transfer market as he looks to strengthen his side ahead of Liverpool's return to the Champions League.
While Robben is the one that got away, there are plenty of other stars from the World Cup in Brazil who Rodgers may well look to bring to Merseyside once the tournament is finished.