Liverpool legend Sami Hyypia was keen to return to Anfield and work with former boss Roy Hodgson, according to Bayer Leverkusen’s president.

Former Finland coach Hodgson has admitted he tried to lure Hyypia back to his old stomping ground as a player, with the view to becoming a coach.

The 36-year-old was released from his contract with the Reds by Rafael Benitez, after a 10 year stint on Merseyside – during which time he won numerous trophies – and would have relished a return.

However, the Bundesliga side admitted the centre back was too important for them to lose, despite having just one year left to run on his contract.

Wolfgang Holzhauser told the Express newspaper: “Sami came to us asking if there would be any chance to return to Liverpool.

“We had an open discussion. Sami accepted straight away that we were desperate to keep him here.

“He is too important for us and a valuable part of our first-team squad. We could easily imagine keeping Sami at our club for more than the remaining year of his contract,” he added.

Holzhauser also said that the club are planning to offer Hyypia a similar deal to what was on offer at Anfield.

“He may add another season on the pitch and we are also considering adding him to our backroom staff afterwards, if he wants,” he continued.

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