Following on from Dejan Lovren’s recent Liverpool departure after the Croatia international joined Zenit Saint Petersberg for a fee of £10.9 million [Guardian], a number of options have been drawn up as potential defensive replacements.
The 31-year-old’s decision to put an end to his six-year tenure on Merseyside has left Jurgen Klopp with just three senior central defensive options for next season.
Who is being considered?
One player who has been linked with a potential Anfield switch is Real Betis defender Aissa Mandi.
Mandi, 28, is currently entering the last year of his contract with the La Liga club and could be available for £10 million.
Liverpool have reportedly bid for the Algerian international who has a release clause in the region of £30 million.
It is being reported by Cadena COPE that Liverpool have presented the Verdiblancos with a £10 million offer for the player.
Another and perhaps more exciting defensive proposition would be Brighton and Hove Albion defender Ben White who enjoyed a stellar loan period with Leeds United this season.
White, 22, started and finished every single Championship match under Marcelo Bielsa this season and capped off a stellar campaign with a stunning volleyed goal against Charlton during last night’s 4-0 victory – no wonder he has attracted interest from some of England’s biggest clubs.
While there isn’t necessarily an urgency for Liverpool to have four central defensive options, there is a concern regarding the fitness of Joel Matip who only featured nine times during the Reds’ title procession.
Matip’s ongoing knee injury that has persisted since October is one of many reasons why Liverpool could be in better stead going into next season with another option at the back.
An ideal fit
White certainly meets that criteria and considering his age and promise could be an asset that could seriously blossom under the guidance of serial winners such as Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez.
Respected journalist James Pearce revealed that White indeed has been the subject of interest for Liverpool for some time now and that if the price is right, it could represent a deal Brighton could condone sanctioning.
Speaking on The Athletic’s Red Agenda podcast, he said: “A number of names have been branded around but nothing concrete at this early stage.”
“A couple of interesting ones, Ben White is certainly someone Liverpool have watched previously he’s had a good season with Leeds.
“I know he has gone back to Brighton who have since made it publically clear that they are very reluctant to sell him though of course, I’m sure there is a price that they would be willing to do business.”
White’s future was also the subject of discussion on the Leeds That Podcast where Adam Forshaw claimed the defender would be an ideal fit for Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool.
“I think Ben would be a good fit at a top Premier League team – I don’t think Leeds fans would thank me for saying this,” Forshaw said. “He’s a top lad and he’s got everything. He’d suit a club like that [Liverpool].
It’s positive to see that Liverpool could be in the hunt for some of the countries best upcoming talents yet as we know with the Reds there will be certain determining factors that must be analysed before any interest is made concrete even though the early signs are good.
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