It started off as a 'little rumour' but soon Dominik Szoboszlai couldn't stop himself from checking.

When initial speculation appeared online about Liverpool making a move to sign the Hungary captain from RB Leipzig earlier this summer, he tried to take it with something of a measured pinch of salt.

His agent would only contact him with concrete news.

Friends, though, were alerting him to the increasing strength of the link with the Reds, and soon the midfielder was refreshing the rumour pages with ever more regularity – and no small impatience.

“We have my agent, my father and me – I never decide alone or my agent never decides alone or my dad never decides alone, it doesn’t matter what’s going on. We always decide as three,” Szoboszlai tells at the team’s hotel on their tour of Singapore.

“My agent wrote in our WhatsApp group [about Liverpool’s interest]; I was on holiday, my father was doing something else and my agent was also somewhere else. We had a group call.

“My agent doesn’t want to say before anything is fixed, so he doesn’t come to me and say, ‘It may be possible.’ He only comes to me when he says it’s close and he needs me now to decide. So then we had a call and everything.

“But of course I saw the rumours and I wrote to him every day… ‘Anything happening? Anything happening?’ I wanted to know. He said, ‘Just don’t worry, wait.’”

The formalities of the move accelerated on the first weekend of July as a deal was concluded and Szoboszlai flew over to Merseyside to undertake a medical and sign his contract.

And on the Sunday afternoon, it was announced that Liverpool officially had a new No.8.

“Everything happened in three days, the important stuff,” he recalls. “From everybody [there were] some rumours, about this, about that, about this team, about other teams.

“I also heard a lot of rumours about where to go, it is time to go or not time to go? Then when Liverpool came, I think one of my friends sent me an Instagram [post] because they were looking for it. I wasn’t really [looking before].

“They sent it to me and I was like, OK, but it was only two posts. And then I always checked like every 10 hours if there was something new, and it got always more and more.

“You know, if it’s like a little rumour – two pictures and that’s it, it’s over. But it was a long-term rumour and I started to be interested. I called my agent and from this day every day I called him and said, ‘What is going on?’”

He had a level of previous with Liverpool, having experienced Anfield as an opposition player when Jürgen Klopp’s side defeated Salzburg in the Champions League in 2019.

His team lost 4-3 that night but nevertheless, the atmosphere, the emotion and the passion of the manager left a tremendous impression on Szoboszlai.

“It’s one of the best stadiums I ever played in and I have played in a lot of stadiums,” he says. “The fans were unbelievable, the players were unbelievable as well. And the manager, this desire he has is crazy and I like it.”

The 22-year-old adds: “Of course he is a nice guy and a good personality, but how it feels, the energy that he has next to the pitch… it’s like he would play with us.

“I think sometimes he would just run on the pitch and tackle!”