In 1983 Liverpool were English champions and had reached an agreement to sign Brondby’s teenage sensation Michael Laudrup, but it fell through.
He wanted to join them, he was a Liverpool fan, but ultimately the deal didn’t materialise because Laudrup didn’t like it when the club attempted to alter the agreement.
“We agreed a three-year contract and went away thinking it was all done,” he said. “But two weeks later they came back saying they wanted to offer me the same package, but for four years because I was still young and needed time to develop.
“I was disappointed because although nothing had been signed, we had an agreement. I decided not to join them and people thought I was crazy. This 19-year-old was turning down the great Liverpool. It wasn’t really like that though.
“I just felt an agreement is an agreement and people should stick to what they decide. After that, I had other offers and went on to join Juventus. That’s football for you.”
The Reds missed out. Laudrup is one of the most graceful midfielders to have played the game and three-time Ballon d’Or winner Michel Platini hailed him as one of the most talented players he has ever seen.
After Juventus, Laudrup played for Barcelona – where he won four successive La Liga titles – and added another league crown at Real Madrid in addition to starring for Denmark at the 1986 World Cup.
Ivan Zamorano, his Real Madrid teammate, called him a ‘genius’.
Johan Cruyff, his manage at Barcelona, loved him. “When Michael plays it is like a dream, a magic illusion and no one in the world comes anywhere near his level.”
However, Liverpool didn’t exactly regret the decision because they won the treble in the 1983/84 season, clinching a fourth European Cup in seven years, but a front line of Laudrup, Kenny Dalglish and Ian Rush would have been frightening, right?
“Michael turned out to be a wonderful player, but I firmly believe we made the right decision at the time because he was demanding terms and conditions in his contract that were impossible for us to meet,” former Anfield executive Paul Robinson said.
“The main stumbling block was that he wanted the option to be able to just walk away after a short period if he felt things weren’t working out. From our point of view, this just did not make any business sense.
“Over the years it was very rare for a player to turn Liverpool down but it wasn’t something we dwelt on. It was just a case of moving on and identifying another target.”