According to Goal’s trusty Liverpool correspondent Melissa Reddy, the Reds will target Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly and Virgil Van Dijk this summer.
Liverpool need new centre-halves. That much is clear but the going rate for a top centre-half these days is not what the Reds tend to pay for defenders.
Last summer, Jöel Matip arrived from Schalke on a free transfer after signing a pre-contract agreement with Liverpool before his contract ran out with the Bundesliga side.
The Cameroonian has been a hit this season and Liverpool are looking to find a similarly talented defensive partner to aid the club’s ambitions of silverware.
One such target is Southampton’s Virgil Van Dijk who would cost around £50 million and if the Reds are unable to sign the Dutchman they could turn their attention to Senegal international and Napoli stalwart Kalidou Koulibaly.
Chelsea will testify to how difficult it is to pry Koulibaly from Napoli’s clutches after they came away from their negotiations with the Calcio A side with nothing more than hurt feelings.
If Liverpool are looking for a bargain, as they did with Matip, then Koulibaly isn’t the option as reports indicate he could cost as much as £60 million.
Goal report that Liverpool are interested in signing Koulibaly and this could lead to Chelsea having to fight for the Senegalese defender’s signature this summer.
Quite often this season, Klopp has lamented Liverpool’s defensive naivety and Koulibaly’s brash and aggressive defensive style of play would help them against sides like West Brom and Stoke City where they get bullied by tall, physical players.
As with many of Liverpool’s transfer targets, Champions League is vital to any chances that the Reds have of signing Koulibaly.
Of course, this is all very much speculation at this point and there are several things that need to happen before a move for Koulibaly becomes possible but it’s one that is very much on the cards for Jürgen Klopp this season.