Liverpool came close to landing Marseille centre-back Duje Caleta-Car, but it was Aston Villa who prevented them from finalising a deal. The Reds were frantically searching for defensive reinforcements in the final days of the transfer window to combat their injury crisis at the back.
Although the Reds only confirmed the news in the final hours of deadline day, Joel Matip is now set to miss the full season with ankle ligament damage.
It means all three of Liverpool’s senior centre-backs – including Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez – are unlikely to play again this season.
Jurgen Klopp and the Anfield hierarchy were able to complete the impressive captures of Preston defender Davies and Schalke’s Turkish international Kabak.
The Championship club received an initial £500,000, while the Bundesliga strugglers netted £1million from the loan.
Yet Marseille were not prepared to let Caleta-Car leave without signing a replacement.
According to French-based journalist Jonathan Johnson, Aston Villa’s signing of Morgan Sanson is likely to have been a key factor in Marseille’s decision to hold firm.
He said: “I think the combination of Marseille selling Morgan Sanson to Aston Villa and loaning [Nemanja] Radonjic to Hertha Berlin has taken care of their short-term financial packet. It means they can hold onto Caleta-Car for a bit longer.”
Ligue 1 clubs were hoping to be revitalised by the blockbuster TV rights deal, which is worth more than £1billion per year (£716m a year from Mediapro and £290m from BeIN Sports).
The second-largest TV deal in Europe has since fallen through, meaning clubs have been left on the brink of financial ruin and in desperate need of investment.
Following a dramatic few days which started with fans breaking into their training ground last weekend, Marseille have now suspended their manager Andre Villas-Boas.
The former Chelsea and Tottenham boss handed in his resignation over the loan signing of Celtic’s Olivier Ntcham.
Villas-Boas was left furious that the club replaced one of his best players in Sanson with Ntcham, claiming the new arrival’s qualities are completely different to those of the new Aston Villa midfielder.