With Virgil van Dijk sidelined for the season, it’s no surprise to see Liverpool back in the transfer columns ahead of the January transfer window.
The Reds are undeniably short in central defence after an ACL injury sustained by Van Dijk against Everton last weekend curtailed the Dutchman’s season.
Liverpool were linked with two different centre-backs on Saturday as talk of a potential transfer intensified. However, no local journalist has as yet indicated Klopp will dip into the transfer market.
According to the usually reliable RMC Sport, Liverpool are interested in signing Schalke centre-back Ozan Kabak in January, who was previously linked to the Reds in the summer.
Liverpool are said to be keen to conclude the deal before the start of the window, with Schalke holding out for a fee of between €30million and €40million for the 20-year-old.
The Mirror went further as they claimed Liverpool have already begun talks with the Bundesliga club as they ramp up their preparations for the window.
However, minutes after the reports about potential interest in Kabak, the Sunday World’s Kevin Palmer linked the Reds with a move for another Bundesliga defender – RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano.
Palmer claims the Frenchman is Liverpool’s “chief transfer target,” with the 21-year-old “already on Liverpool’s list” before van Dijk’s injury.
The report states: “Leipzig are expecting Liverpool to make a move to sign their centre-back in January, with an offer in excess of £40m hard for them to turn down.”
Upamecano is highly sought-after by some of Europe’s top clubs, despite him recently signing a new contract with Leipzig until 2023.
He is believed to have a £42million release clause within his new contract, so he is likely to be the more expensive of the two centre-backs linked.
While no formal moves have yet been made, the Liverpool hierarchy a good relationship with their counterparts in Leipzig. Should the Reds truly be keen on the signing, making their interest clear should be no challenge.
With over two months to go until the start of the January transfer window, there’s no doubt there’ll be much more written on Liverpool’s supposed interest in Kabak and Upamecano in the coming weeks.
For now, it appears the rumours linking Liverpool to Kabak have more legs, certainly if you consider the Reds’ interest earlier this summer.
However, a deal could prove to be costly, with Schalke’s director Jochen Schneider previously stating: “Ozan is a great player and a wonderful person. We’re happy that he’s with us. I can reassure all the fans, Ozan won’t be given up.”