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Simon Hughes plays down Liverpool and Koulibaly rumours

Liverpool have reportedly tabled an offer in the region of £63 million to sign Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, according to Italian journalist Fabio Santini.

The Premier League champions are in the market for another defender after being rocked by the news that Virgil van Dijk could miss the remainder of the season with a cruciate ligament injury, following Jordan Pickford’s challenge on the Dutchman last week.

It could be that Jurgen Klopp looks for further reinforcements in January given the fact that Joel Matip and Joe Gomez are currently his only recognised senior central defensive options with Fabinho also covering at the back.

LEVERKUSEN, GERMANY – SEPTEMBER 26: Dayot Upamecano of Leipzig gestures during the Bundesliga match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and RB Leipzig at BayArena on September 26, 2020 in Leverkusen, Germany. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images)

RB Leipzig powerhouse Dayot Upamecano is reportedly Liverpool’s top transfer priority although Koulibaly has also been identified as another viable alternative.

The possibility of the Reds adding the Senegalese international to Liverpool’s defensive ranks was a topic of discussion during The Athletic’s Red Agenda podcast, and it is a move that reputable journalist Simon Hughes claims he doesn’t expect to materialise into anything serious.

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He said: “I understand over the summer, people saying Liverpool need to go out and sign another centre-half.

“I just don’t think there is another player out there of profile really that Liverpool could have got that could have made this situation a bit easier.

“I know Koulibaly at Napoli, fantastic player who has done really well against Liverpool particularly in the games at Naples over the years. I just can’t see Liverpool spending the sort of money Napoli want for a player who 29-30 years old.”

TURIN, ITALY – AUGUST 31: Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus is challenged by Kalidou Koulibaly of SSC Napoli during the Serie A match between Juventus and SSC Napoli at Allianz Stadium on August 31, 2019 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images )

What RTK has to say

We agree with Hughes. This just isn’t a rumour we imagine to pick up much traction in the coming months when you consider the financial aspects behind a deal.

The 29-year-old defender could cost Liverpool an eye-watering figure and given the player’s age, he doesn’t have time on his side to justify such a substantial sum of money.

Upamecano on the other hand is a move that makes sense both in terms of finance and longevity.

SportBILD reported last week that the Frenchman has a measly £36.5m release clause which given the fact he is just 21-year-old is certainly a deal which Liverpool could justify pursuing.

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