It’s a deal which has surprised everyone, but not those at Liverpool who have worked tirelessly to tie the Brazilian down ever since February – and they’re not stopping there
The sun had set over Merseyside late Monday night when Fabinhoand Rebeca Tavares flew back to Monaco from Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport. On the plane, Fabinho and his wife clinked glasses filled with Champagne, as Tavares toasted the moment by saying, “We are Reds, baby,” with the sort of enthusiasm you see at a roulette table in a Las Vegas casino.
It had been the deal which surprised everyone, aside from those involved directly because Liverpool – with sporting director Michael Edwards leading negotiations – had quietly and aggressively been pursuing the Brazilian since February. In an interview with French radio, Fabinho would admit that Liverpool’s determination to sign him had been more focused and personal than the offers made by other parties over the last two seasons, including those from both Manchester clubs, Paris St Germain, Juventus, Internazionale and most recently, Atlético Madrid – though they were far too late in making their move.
“I spoke on the phone with [Roberto] Firmino,” Fabinho said. “I know him personally…I was able to speak with the manager and people who work at the club. They gave me a lot of confidence.”
During discussions, Fabinho had apparently been given the sort of treatment by Jürgen Klopp that convinced Virgil van Dijk waiting six months for his move to Anfield to materialise wasn’t such a hardship – even with Pep Guardiola wanting him to go to City.