Liverpool have reportedly been offered the chance to sign Valencia defender Ezequiel Garay, but have turned down the opportunity, claims journalist Romano.
The Reds are supposedly in the market for further defensive reinforcements following the loss of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez to long-term knee injuries.
Garay, 34, therefore could have represented an interesting option as a free agent.
However, Liverpool deemed that bringing in a player in the twilight stages of his career would not be a beneficial proposition for the club.
So here is a little look at what we know so far about the Argentine defender to catch a glimpse of why a move to Reds isn’t likely to materialise.
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1) By far one of the outstanding candidates still available on a bosman, Garay is as experienced as they come.
2) He was a key player for the Argentina side that made it to the World Cup final in 2014 at the Macarena.
3) Since then, the former Real Madrid defender has become an integral player for Valencia, who qualified for the Champions League in back-to-back campaigns in 2018 and 2019.
4) His progress was cut short last season after Garay suffered cruciate ligament damage to his right knee in February – Liverpool could ill-afford another one of those.
5) Nine months on from his setback, Garay is said to have made sufficient steps in his recovery but still needs time before he is deemed fit enough to return to the pitch – meaning he is an unlikely choice given that the Reds would need him to come straight in.
Can the situation change?
David Ornstein of The Athletic recently reported that despite their lack of defensive cover, it is understood that the English champions have no interest in entering the market come January to strengthen in central defence.
Reputable journalist Romano also backed up these reports after he claimed that Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool are more focused on keeping their current squad together, rather than bringing in new players.
Speaking on his Here We Go Podcast, he said: “Garay was offered to Liverpool as a free agent but they said no.
“He’s not the type of player they want. They are in no rush, they are looking at the window for opportunities.
“They are more interested in extending contracts.”
At this time of writing, Fabinho and Joel Matip currently represent Klopp’s first-choice central defensive pairing with academy graduates Rhys Williams and Nathaniel Phillips also rotated in-between matches.
Liverpool’s stance isn’t set to change in January and although the club have shown flexibility in the past, they are not prone to knee-jerk reactions and do not anticipate deviating from their sustained transfer model even if results were to deteriorate.
Ornstein reports that the decision not to pursue a centre-back in January is a mutually accepted agreement between Klopp and the club’s hierarchy.
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