Liverpool are in the process of finding a replacement for Dejan Lovren and it’s highly likely that a centre-back is their first summer signing. In the past week, the Reds have waved goodbye to Lovren and Adam Lallana as they prepare to embark on new adventures with Zenit St Petersburg and Brighton.
Following the return of football, Liverpool were expected to oversee a quiet transfer window due to the impact on the club’s finances.
They were forced to pull out of a deal for Timo Werner but UEFA’s decision to extend the transfer window until October 5 has given the club breathing space to evaluate their budget.
Following Lovren’s £10.9million switch to Zenit, there is a vacancy at the heart of the Liverpool defence.
The Croatian enjoyed a run of games before Christmas alongside Virgil van Dijk but lost his place to Joe Gomez following an injury.
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Gomez’s form was so good he kept his place right the way through the season, besides Lovren’s calamitous cameo in the 3-0 defeat at Watford in February.
The England international and Joel Matip were ahead of him in the pecking order but the Reds still need an experienced fourth centre-back in reserve.
Schalke’s Ozan Kabak is on the club’s radar having developed a reputation as one of the finest young defenders in the Bundesliga.
His manager David Wagner is close with Klopp after working under him at Borussia Dortmund before his move to Huddersfield.
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Kabak has a release clause of around £40million but that may be deemed excessive for a player who will not start regularly.
There has been some suggestion that Schalke would accept an offer of around £32m should it arrive.
Elsewhere, The Times report that Liverpool have looked at Ben White.
The defender won promotion to the Premier League while on loan at Leeds but is set to return to Brighton next season.
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The Reds have reportedly been scouting the player throughout the season following his rise to prominence under Marcelo Bielsa.
Seagulls boss Graham Potter ruled out a return to Leeds for White and expects to work with him next season.
“Absolutely 100 per cent,” Potter said when asked if he’s ready for the top-flight.
“Yeah, I am (confident he well stay). He’s our player, he’s got a long contract with us. I have known Ben for a while, I have been aware of him, wanted to try and sign him when we were at Swansea.
“I know about his qualities. He’s a fantastic player. He’s done brilliantly at Leeds and helped them get promotion.
“That’s fantastic for them, fantastic for him but he’s our player and we’re looking forward to working with him.”
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