Liverpool striker Divock Origi has revealed how he passed up opportunities to join both Manchester United and Bayern Munich before he made the switch to Anfield.
Origi claims he was wanted by United as a teenager, instead opting to move to Lille when he was 15.
After impressing in Ligue 1, Origi was signed by Liverpool in 2014, the Belgian deciding on a move to the Premier League rather than joining Bundesliga giants Bayern.
“I started with the national team at Under-16s. It was a very good year for me, a lot of scouts were coming to my dad. I heard Manchester United wanted to sign me, some Italian clubs and German clubs,” Origi said.
“I visited Lille’s training centre. I was amazed how good it was. I saw how Eden Hazard had grown from young player to big player winning the league with them and that was something very nice. They have a very good reputation at developing young players.
“My heart said: ‘go to Lille’. I remember coming home from school, sitting in the kitchen and my dad said: ‘the choice is yours, what do you want to do?’ I decided to go to Lille.
“[In 2014] there were offers from everywhere. Bayern were interested, all these clubs. But I came to Liverpool, I saw the facilities, I took some time out of my vacation to visit Melwood and speak with [then manager] Brendan Rodgers.
“When I came in, everyone knew my name, they knew who I was and they were looking at a video of me even from the Under-15s.
“They knew about my qualities and when I saw the values of the club – passing, pressing, fast players – I was like: ‘this is the place I want to go.'”