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'Iranian Messi' Sardar Azmoun claims he turned down chance of Liverpool move

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Former Liverpool target Sardar Azmoun once claimed he turned down the chance of a move to Anfield because he didn’t want to spend his time on the bench.

READ MORE: Saudi Arabian government speak out on potential Liverpool takeover And Iranian international Azmoun - currently starring for his country at the World Cup in Qatar - suggested he was put off a move to Liverpool by the prospect of not being an immediate first-team regular.

• Liverpool have seen a World Cup performance that may solve their midfield issue • Billy Hogan has Liverpool boost after surprising and disappointing Julian Ward decision • Jamie Carragher admits to being worried about Liverpool after another major departure • Liverpool and Manchester City 'join race' for Italy international with €30million price-tag set

Bayer Leverkusen attacker Azmoun – dubbed ‘the Iranian Messi’ – was one of several players the Reds were considering way back in January 2017 as they looked to bolster their attacking options given Sadio Mane’s participation at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Liverpool ultimately made no new signings during the window, a decision questioned in the wake of a run of results that saw them eliminated from the FA Cup and League Cup and out of Premier League title contention.

“There were talks of Liverpool having expressed an interest in me during the past winter transfer window,” said the 27-year-old, who was playing at FC Rostov in Russia at the time.

He switched to Zenit St Petersburg in 2019 before moving to Bayer Leverkusen in Germany on a free transfer in the summer.
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