Jurgen Klopp is ‘seriously considering other options’ to Ozan Kabak, according to reports. The Reds boss supposedly has two in mind.
There’s a problem, though. Kabak is only 20 and they don’t consider him to be an immediate option at the back.
Joe Gomez’s injury has changed things, then. Liverpool only have Joel Matip for the foreseeable future and he’s not a reliably fit player.
Instead of looking to the future, the Reds need to consider someone who can step in right now.
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The Mirror suggests two – Kalidou Koulibaly and Dayot Upamecano.
Both would likely cost far more than £18m. Napoli reportedly wanted £90m for Koulibaly ahead of the season, according to Il Mattino. Whereas Upamecano has a £36m release clause, per SportBild, but would surely cost more in January.
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This won’t be an easy one to manage. Liverpool have three senior centre-halves at the club in Matip, Gomez and Virgil van Dijk. All expect to play with regularity.
Now, two are gone – potentially for the season – but they’ll come back. Next season will still happen (probably – it’s hard to tell these days).
Signing another senior cente-half would mean they have four next season. That’s four players, all expecting to play, and only two places every week. Only one, in reality, as Van Dijk plays every major game he’s fit for.
If Napoli really want £90m for Koulibaly, then we can rule that one out. It would be a ridiculous price for a 29-year-old who Liverpool only really need for five months.
Upamecano, though, fits the bill. He’s a regular for a Champions League side but also one for the future, as he’s still just 21. If we had to back Liverpool to sign any defender, that’s the one.