Manchester United had the chance to sign Liverpool midfield starlet Stefan Bajcetic ahead of their rivals after the Merseysiders had initially hesitated over a potential deal.
Son of retired Serbian midfielder Srdan Bajcetic, the 18-year-old moved to Liverpool from hometown club Celta Vigo at the end of 2020 and has made the step up to first-team level this season.
Bajcetic has become increasingly prominent since club football resumed after the World Cup break and has started each of Liverpool’s last four Premier League games in an improving side.
Liverpool had first got in touch with the player’s family when he was still 15 and too young to complete an international transfer. But Srdan has now revealed that Manchester United were also on the scene around the same time, implying a move to Old Trafford was a genuine option too.
“Some scouts from Liverpool saw him and contacted us. But Stefan was still a child, not even 16 years old. He couldn’t go anywhere,” the Bajcetic’s father told El Mundo in Spain.
“At first, Liverpool told us that they couldn’t do it and then United called us, [saying] that they could. Liverpool found out and contacted us again to sign him. Celta does not have the financial power to [offer] professional contracts at that age. Sometimes [the young players] leave.”
Bajcetic Sr. went on to explain that his son hardly spoke any English when he left Vigo, arriving at Liverpool during the Covid-19 pandemic and then having to isolate after quickly falling ill himself.
“He was not playing…locked up,” the father said. “I think all this made him mature before. He never said it was complicated or that he wanted to go back. Never. He was always very clear about it and he has been very professional.”