Liverpool have reportedly joined the race to sign Sampdoria centre-back Omar Colley with a £10.8 million release-clause making him one of the most viable options left for the Reds to explore in the ongoing summer transfer market.
According to SamNews24, Jurgen Klopp could still look to add another defensive addition in the remaining weeks of the window with the club yet to bring in a replacement following the departure of Dejan Lovren to Zenit St Petersburg.
The German manager has persistently played down speculation linking Liverpool with some of the biggest names on the market, but that doesn’t mean the Reds have completely given up on the prospect of bringing an addition or two before the October 5 deadline.
Making a case
According to Sky Sports, Colley has a release clause in his current contract with Sampdoria that dictates the player would be free to leave if his £10.8m figure were met.
Celtic are also reported to share an interest with Liverpool in regards to the signing of Colley although the player’s valuation could hand Liverpool the edge considering the spending capabilities of Celtic this summer following the ongoing financial ramifications of the pandemic.
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Liverpool were able to offload a 31-year-old Lovren off their wage bill as well as command a £10.9 million fee for the Croatian which immediately hands Klopp the direct funds to potentially sanction a deal for a defensive replacement.
The Reds have already brought in Kostas Tsimkas from Olympiacos following an £11.25m deal and the boss could look for another central defender given Klopp has just three senior options in that area currently at his disposal.
With Joel Matip and Joe Gomez’s injury record too, the need for another option at the back becomes even more apparent.
Fabinho’s influence at the weekend off the bench against Leeds demonstrated why the Brazilian cannot afford to be taken away from his usual defensive midfield duties making the case for Klopp that his defence is currently the most pressing area of the team in need of cover.
Also, considering that it is simply just a release clause and perhaps not his full market value, there could be a chance of sporting director Michael Edwards negotiating a fee in an attempt to land a cut-price deal for the Reds.
Who is he?
Colley, who has been capped 12 times for his national team Gambia, does fit the profile of a player Liverpool would be interested in, being a powerful, imposing central defender who has vast experience at the elite level.
Opta powered site website WhoScored show Colley is dominant aerially and similarly to Lovren is a player who doesn’t like to mess around too much on the ball and likes to clear his lines.
Colley ranked 140th in Serie A in terms of performances last season. During 30 Italian top-flight appearances, he won 62% of his aerial duels, averaged 1.4 tackles per game, 1.9 interceptions and an impressive 4.8 clearances.
With Sampdoria, Colley was part of a defensive unit that registered nine clean sheets. Offensively he averaged a pass success rate of 81%.
He made 52 Serie A appearances in two seasons at Sampdoria, 30 of them coming last term. He has previously enjoyed spells in the Belgian and Swedish top-flights.
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