Redknapp phone call persuaded England international to reject Liverpool transfer
Alex McCarthy has revealed just how close he was to signing for Liverpool in 2014, only for a phone call from Harry Redknapp to persuade him to reject the Reds. The goalkeeper, who is currently enjoying his seventh season with Southampton but lost his place as first-choice goalkeeper to summer signing Gavin Bazunu, played under former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers at Reading at the start of his career.
And the Northern Irishman wanted to reunite with the shot-stopper when he sought fresh competition for Simon Mignolet ahead of the 2014/15 season. McCarthy has now revealed he was about to board a train to Liverpool ahead of the potential transfer, only to receive an 11th hour phone call from Redknapp, then manager of Queens Park Rangers, who persuaded him to snub the Reds and join QPR instead.
“The move to QPR was strange because I’d worked with Brendan [Rodgers] before at Reading and he wanted to bring me to Liverpool,” explained McCarthy on the Yours, Mine, Away! Podcast. “The morning I ended up going to QPR, I was about to get on the train to Liverpool but then I had Harry Redknapp call me.
“I knew at Liverpool I wasn’t just going to go in and play, obviously he couldn’t guarantee me any football but Harry Redknapp called me and obviously he knew about Liverpool and said there are definitely more opportunities to play here [at QPR] so it was a tough situation.
“Working with Brendan at Liverpool or Harry at QPR…I was stood at the train station with my dad and my agent going over it and over it and because I had been playing at Reading, I wanted to carry on playing so I ended up going to QPR and signing there.
“I’m a big believer that things always happen for a reason. It took me a while to get into the team and I when I did, I played against Liverpool and had to go off with a quad strain so I was out of the team again and Rob [Green] was doing well so it was a weird one.
“I had a chance to go to Liverpool but chose to go to QPR. I was there for a season, we got relegated and then I went to Crystal Palace.”