Liverpool’s centre-back targets: Who could Reds buy in January?

Joel Matip’s newest harm might power Liverpool into the switch market in January – we run the rule over the Reds’ reported centre-back targets in the winter window.

Matip, 29, faces three weeks on the sidelines after damaging his groin in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion, the latest in a collection of setbacks the Cameroon central defender has suffered this marketing campaign.

The Premier League champions have been reportedly monitoring numerous doable central defenders following Dejan Lovren’s departure for Zenit St Petersburg final summer season, earlier than deciding they have been proud of the choices they’d.

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Former Liverpool defender Stephen Warnock says his outdated membership should buy defensive cowl in January after one other harm to Joel Matip

Despite dropping each Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez to doubtlessly season-ending knee accidents earlier this season, although, Liverpool have been nonetheless not believed to have any plans to enter the market in January.

Fabinho has deputised seamlessly for the duo, whereas neither Rhys Williams, 19, nor Nat Phillips, 23, have regarded out of their depth when requested to cowl for the injured Matip.

Captain Jordan Henderson additionally crammed in at centre again when Matip’s again gave out midway by way of Liverpool’s 1-1 draw at Fulham in December.

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But, even with their funds restricted because of the impacts of Covid-19, the membership’s stance might now change and supervisor Jurgen Klopp could deliver in defensive reinforcements in January, one thing Jamie Carragher lately advocated.

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“I don’t necessarily mean bring in a centre back for £70m-£80m, like a Van Dijk signing,” mentioned the Sky Sports pundit.

“And not essentially somebody to go straight in the staff – simply somebody there so Liverpool do not find yourself with two younger lads at some stage if Fabinho was to go down injured.

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“Because at this moment, Liverpool Football Club have one senior centre back who’s available this season and he’s injury prone. So they have to, have to do something in January.”

So, who could the Liverpool supervisor transfer for? We have a look at how the membership’s reported targets have carried out this season, what their attributes are, and whether or not a deal could also be doable for any of them in January…

Southampton
Liverpool

Monday 4th January 7:00pm

Kick off 8:00pm

Ben White (Brighton)

Age: 23
Contract scenario: 2024

Liverpool have been one in every of numerous Premier League golf equipment to watch White’s progress throughout his mortgage spell with Leeds United final season when the Poole-born defender performed an integral function in Marcelo Bielsa’s aspect gaining promotion to the Premier League.

However, that curiosity has since cooled and with White having additionally signed a brand new four-deal at Brighton in September, prising the participant away from the Amex in January could show expensive.

Dayot Upamecano (RB Leipzig)

Age: 22
Contract scenario: 2023

Upamecano is presently one in every of Europe’s most in-demand central defenders after a powerful season final day trip with Leipzig, who he helped progress to the Champions League semi-finals.

The France worldwide was rewarded for these shows with a contract extension final July, though the brand new deal incorporates a reported £40m buyout clause which solely comes into impact subsequent summer season.

And which will cloud the problem so far as Liverpool’s curiosity in January is anxious, as could the the defender’s relative lack of type this marketing campaign and the very fact the 2 sides meet one another in the Champions League in the spring.

Meanwhile, regardless of Upamecano reportedly being Liverpool’s first selection, the defender’s relative lack of type this marketing campaign, coupled with the price of signing the participant in January, can also scupper any plans the membership needed to deliver him to Anfield this season.

However, given Upamecano is reportedly Liverpool’s first selection, Carragher believes Klopp ought to transfer for him in January.

“There is a young man everyone was talking about at Leipzig, Dayot Upamecano, there is talk of him,” mentioned the previous Liverpool defender.

“If he is the one they wanted, then bring it forward. Pay extra money and do it on January 1st.”

Milan Skriniar (Inter Milan)

Age: 25
Contract scenario: 2023

The Slovakia worldwide was reportedly fascinating Tottenham final summer season, just for the north London membership to be scared off by Inter’s £54m valuation of the defender.

And whereas the skilled centre again has lately fallen down the pecking order beneath Antonio Conte, the same valuation would additionally show too prohibitive for Liverpool, who’ve nonetheless reportedly been monitoring the participant.

Ozan Kabak (Schalke 04)

Age: 20
Contract scenario: 2024

Liverpool have been reportedly all set to make a transfer for Kabak final summer season, earlier than the consequences of Covid impacted their switch funds.

Klopp prefers to buy in his homeland, the place he has contacts, together with former Schalke boss David Wagner, who he little question would have spoken to in regards to the Turkey worldwide earlier than he left the membership in September.

Schalke have been initially understood to need £40m for the central defender – pictured above when enjoying for earlier membership Galatasaray – however that determine has since dropped to £30m, of which Liverpool could pay £20m in January, with the remainder in instalments.

And there are even experiences the Reds could use back-up striker Divock Origi in half trade for the participant, who Klopp is believed to price extremely, though his relative lack of top-level expertise might depend in opposition to him.

Perr Schuurs (Ajax)

Age: 21
Contract scenario: 2022

The Netherlands worldwide – who truly had a trial with Liverpool two years in the past – caught Klopp’s eye when Ajax confronted the Reds in the Champions League group section earlier this season.

That led to experiences claiming Liverpool have been in Schuurs, who changed Matthijs de Ligt in Ajax’s defence when he joined Juventus in the summer season of 2019, tales the teen was fast to reject although.

“I hear and read it [Liverpool rumours] too,” he instructed SBS6, as quoted by Voetbal Primeur. “It’s my first season as a basic player at Ajax. I want to play here for a few more seasons and win prizes. I’m not really working on that yet.”

However, with the Eredivisie champions understood to need £27m for the participant, Liverpool Sporting Director Michael Edwards might really feel that may be a valuation he can work with in January.

2020/21 stats for Europe’s top-five leagues (*none out there for Eredivisie)

Kabak (per 90) Skriniar (per 90) Upamecano (per 90) White (per 90)
Games performed 8 10 12 15
Games Started 8 9 12 15
Minutes 705 824 971 1312
Goals 0 1 1 0
Assists 0 0 0 0
Passes 409 (52) 632 (69) 969 (90) 759 (52)
Tackles 7 (0.9) 15 (1.6) 15 (1.4) 28 (1.9)
Interceptions 8 (1) 11 (1.2) 12 (1.1) 25 (1.7)
Clearances 26 (3.3) 24 (2.6) 28 (2.6) 22 (1.5)
Aeirals gained 33 (4.2) 7 (0.8) 17 (1.6) 25 (1.7)
Aeirals 43 (5.5) 18 (2) 28 (2.6) 45 (3.1)
Headed Clearances 14 (1.8) 15 (1.6) 10 (0.9) 10 (0.7)
Touches 525 (67) 740 (81) 1086 (101) 928 (64)
Dribbled previous by opp. 3 (0.4) 3 (0.3) 3 (0.3) 15 (1)
Errors resulting in targets 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0) 0 (0)

Of course, if Liverpool will not be in a monetary place to spend massive in January, then the membership could at all times have a look at a doable mortgage transfer for a defender, or begin negotiating with foreign-based gamers whose contracts expire this summer season.

David Alaba (Bayern Munich)

Age: 28
Contract scenario: 2021

The versatile defender seems set to depart Bayern on a free on the finish of the season after rejecting the membership’s newest provide of a brand new deal, with Liverpool reportedly holding a “strong interest” in the participant.

The Reds can both wait till his present deal on the Allianz Arena expires this summer season and signal him for nothing, or if they’re determined for defensive reinforcements this season, they could attempt to land him in a cut-price deal in January.

‘If a January deal is sensible, Liverpool have the means to pursue it’

Analysis by Sky Sports News’ Merseyside Correspondent Vinny O’Connor:

Liverpool’s stance once more is that they won’t be signing anybody in the January switch market.

The caveat to that’s it is much like their stance in the previous, most lately final summer season, earlier than they then signed Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota.

It feels like stating the plain, however whereas they’re saying they don’t have any intention to signal gamers this January, if a deal offered itself that made sense then they’ve the means to pursue it.

As for the summer season, and the hyperlinks with Upamecano, the method of figuring out IF Liverpool will even contemplate doing something then is underway now.

As I’ve talked about earlier than, the response to hyperlinks with the likes of White and Kabak was no curiosity.

Messi, Ozil, Wijnaldum: Whose contracts are operating out?

Premier League golf equipment will likely be on excessive alert over the subsequent six months and extra with some high names seeing their contract run out in the summer season of 2021.

These gamers are free to speak to golf equipment from international leagues from January 1, as their present golf equipment weigh up whether or not to supply a brand new deal, promote for a lowered payment in January, or enable to depart on a free in the summer season.

The pool of out-of-contract gamers is extra excessive profile than ever, with membership legends in Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero up for grabs if they don’t signal a brand new deal.

When does the January switch window open?

The January switch window will opener on Saturday 2 January 2021 and shut on Monday 1 February; Follow all the most recent in our devoted Transfer Centre weblog on Sky Sports’ digital platforms in addition to Sky Sports News.

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