Speculation stemming from the English media this week suggests that Liverpool have identified Dayot Upamecano as their no.1 target to reinforce the club’s backline.
Recent weeks have of course not proven at all kind to Premier League champions Liverpool.
First, during the club’s Merseyside derby meeting with Everton last month, Virgil van Dijk picked up a knee injury, which is expected to see the Dutchman sidelined for the remainder of the campaign.
Then, two weeks later, whilst filling in for the absent van Dijk, Fabinho hobbled off during the club’s Champions League clash vs Midtjylland, after suffering a hamstring problem.
This was followed by Trent Alexander-Arnold adding to the ever-growing injury list at Anfield last weekend, when the English international picked up a calf problem, which looks set to see him miss around a month of action.
And, incredibly, yet another defensive blow for Jurgen Klopp’s men was forthcoming this week when, after word surfaced that Joe Gomez had been forced out of England training, confirmation swiftly followed that the 23-year-old had been forced under the knife.
Gomez, like central-defensive partner van Dijk, is now in line for an extended spell on the sidelines.
.@J_Gomez97 has today undergone successful surgery to repair a tendon in his left knee.
The issue was isolated to Gomez’s tendon, with no damage to any other associated knee ligaments and Joe will now begin a rehabilitation programme with our medical team 💪
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) November 12, 2020
Leipzig star targeted
As such, as things stand, Jurgen Klopp has just one senior central-defensive option at his disposal, in the form of Joel Matip.
The Cameroonian, though, has also struggled to maintain fitness over lengthy stretches over the last couple of seasons. In fact, Matip has not lined out in back-to-back games for the English champions for 14 months.
It should therefore come as little surprise to find that those in charge of transfers at Anfield have begun drawing up a list of targets to reinforce the heart of the club’s backline.
And, as outlined above, an insight into the Reds’ wishlist has this week been forthcoming.
The news comes courtesy of reliable outlet The Athletic.
First, it is claimed that Liverpool had in fact already planned to enter the market for fresh blood at centre-half next summer. The recent injury woes at the club, though, could see their efforts brought forward to January.
When it comes to specific targets, meanwhile, RB Leipzig standout Dayot Upamecano is labelled as ‘at the top of their wanted list’.
The terms of the Frenchman’s contract, however, mean that a summer swoop would likely prove a more realistic option than one during the winter, with Upamecano’s release clause set to drop to £40 million at the end of the season.
MUNICH, GERMANY – FEBRUARY 09: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Dayot Upamecano of RB Leipzig looks on during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and RB Leipzig at Allianz Arena on February 9, 2020 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Roland Krivec/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
A trio of further targets, meanwhile, are also named.
Brighton’s Ben White remains firmly in Liverpool’s sights, though it is hinted that the Merseysiders are more likely to look abroad, in search of better value.
In turn, both highly-regarded Schalke stopper Ozan Kabak and Bremer of Serie A outfit Torino are also highlighted as potential options.
20-year-old Kabak would certainly represent an exciting addition at Anfield, with an in-depth insight into the talents possessed by the Turkish international provided here.