It is no secret that Liverpool are in the market for another central defensive option for next season following the loss of Dejan Lovren to Zenit St Petersburg.

Lovren, 31, despite his flaws, was a vital member for the Reds during last season’s title victory. The Croatia international covered in the absence of Joel Matip with aplomb back in October 2019 and were it not for a muscle injury he would have remained Jurgen Klopp’s preferred central defensive choice to Joe Gomez.

Zenit v CSKA - Russian Premier League

Dejan Lovren of Zenit Saint Petersburg passes the ball during the Russian Premier League match between FC Zenit Saint Petersburg and PFC CSKA Moscow on August 19, 2020 at Gazprom Arena in Saint Petersburg, Russia. (Photo by Mike Kireev/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

However, Lovren has since left the club and Gomez has deservedly taken the mantle as Virgil van Dijk’s long-term partner in Klopp’s defensive quartet following an outstanding second half of the 19/20 campaign.

Despite Liverpool currently boasting arguably three of the best central defenders in England’s top-flight, there is still a sense that additional cover is required.

Matip and Gomez’s respective injury records speak for themselves and Liverpool could be a couple of injuries away from a repeated scenario of Fabinho forced to sacrifice his midfield duties to cover at the back.

Potential replacements?

One player who has been touted with an interest of Liverpool is Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar.

The Slovakia international fell behind the pecking order under manager Antonio Conte with the likes of Diego Godin, Alessandro Bastoni and Stefan de Vrij all taking precedence in Inter’s team to Skriniar.

With that said, it isn’t surprising to see that when a defender of Skriniar’s quality is stuck on the bench then a number of potential suitors will come sniffing.

AS Roma v FC Internazionale - Serie A

Milan Skriniar of FC Internazionale during the Serie A match between Roma and FC Internazionale at Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy on 19 July 2020. (Photo by Giuseppe Maffia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Italian publication Gazzetta dello Sport claimed back in June that Liverpool had identified the £45m-rated player as another potential defensive addition for the Reds.

Despite playing just six minutes of Europa League football during the quarters, semis and final of the competition, Inter maintain Skriniar is going nowhere.

The player himself was vocal in his commitment to the club when questioned whether he had any intentions to quit the San Siro.

 

He said: “On the bench at Inter? I must say I was used to playing regularly. When you play every three days, it is inevitable the coach starts making changes,” he explains.

“Since the team was doing well and we were conceding few goals (without me in the XI), the coach preferred not to change anything until the Europa League final. I was upset, but the important thing was the team achieved good results.

“A departure? I have no information on that. I still have a three-year contract with the club. Nobody here has told me he doesn’t want me. Conte still wants me in Milan.

“I have no reason to leave Inter. They still want me and I’ve always been involved in training.”

Milan Skriniar of FC Internazionale in action during the...

STADIO LUIGI FERRARIS, GENOA, ITALY – 2020/07/25: Milan Skriniar of FC Internazionale in action during the Serie A football match between Genoa CFC and FC Internazionale. FC Internazionale won 3-0 over Genoa CFC. (Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images)

What RTK has to say

When considering Skriniar’s price-tag, it is pretty clear to see that there would have been complications behind Liverpool striking a deal even if Inter were looking to sell the 25-year-old.

Jurgen Klopp has maintained that the funds just aren’t available to spend eye-watering figures in positions unless the money is ready-made following a potential departure.

Liverpool have made just one signing throughout the summer window following the addition of Kostas Tsimikas from Olympiacos.

The Greek left-back was brought in to provide urgently needed cover for Andy Robertson yet the £11.75m fee Liverpool paid to land Tsimikas was predominantly spent following the £10.9m figure Livthe Reds received for Lovren.

With that said, even despite the fact Klopp would indeed like to add another defender to his ranks next season, unless there are to be a number of Anfield departures in the next few weeks, big-money moves for players such as Skriniar just aren’t going to happen.

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