Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Report: Liverpool credited with an interest in five defensive targets

According to reports from James Pearce of The Athletic, Liverpool effectively ended their pursuit of Ben White once the club reached a stumbling block in negotiations regarding to finances.

The report claims that Liverpool had tracked White extensively all summer although an official move for the Brighton & Hove Albion defender failed to materialise last summer.

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 14: Ben White of Brighton and Hove Albion leaves the pitch with an injury during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Chelsea at American Express Community Stadium on September 14, 2020 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Jurgen Klopp was indeed interested by the prospect of landing the former Leeds United loanee although a price-tag in the excess of £35 million proved prohibitive and, with money tight due to the ongoing pandemic, Klopp and Edwards decided to channel their limited resources on other key areas of the squad.

However, due to the recent catastrophic injury setback to Virgil van Dijk, who is awaiting surgery on an ACL tear, White is still a player the club maintains to have on their radar. Liverpool’s interest has been solidified by the 23-year-old’s strong start to his inaugural season in the Premier League.

According to Pearce, Liverpool could look to move for as many as five central defenders in the January transfer window to help compensate for the gargantuan defensive void that has been left in the absence of Van Dijk.

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The list of defensive targets includes Schalke’s Ozan Kabak, RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano, Wolves captain Conor Coady, Torino’s Gleison Bremer and of course, White of Brighton.

Klopp has been forced to draw up a defensive strategy to compensate for Van Dijk’s loss, a player who clocked up 92 consecutive Premier League starts prior to his injury at Goodison Park.

The report also states that Klopp is reluctant to just throw money at the problem and instead could look to find solutions within with young players such as Rhys Williams and Billy Koumetio all making a lasting impression on the boss in recent weeks.

Wolverhampton Wanderers’ English defender Conor Coady gestures during the English Premier League football match between Leeds United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Elland Road in Leeds, northern England on October 19, 2020. (Photo by Michael Regan / POOL / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by MICHAEL REGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

What RTK has to say

There is no doubt that Liverpool require another option to come in during the January window especially when you consider the recent injury record of Joel Matip and Joe Gomez.

Both players are currently Klopp’s only recognised senior central defensive figures and the former only recently clocked up 90 minutes of action in the starting XI for the first time in 12 months.

A club as shrewd and meticulous in the transfer market as Liverpool will be hoping to sign a player who ticks the boxes both in terms of finance and longevity.

This makes sense given that Van Dijk and Matip are both 29 and are reaching the latter stages of their career.

Liverpool signing any of the likes of White, Upamecano, Kabak and Bremer would certainly fit the profile.

The only deal we cannot see Liverpool pursuing come January is a move for Wolves captain Coady. Emotion aside, the 27-year-old doesn’t look like a great fit for Liverpool.

His role as the lynchpin of a back three sees him flanked by two more mobile and aggressive centre-backs, who do the majority of the defensive work. Signing Coady would effectively mean Klopp would have to look at completely reorganising the shape of the team which just wouldn’t make sense.

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