Liverpool have set their sights on Schalke centre-back Ozan Kabak as they are looking for a defender to cover for Virgil van Dijk, who is set to undergo surgery and who will be sidelined for at least six months.
The Dutchman picked up a serious knee injury following Jordan Pickford’s challenge in the Reds’ 2-2 draw against Everton and the bad news was confirmed the day after that match.
Now, according to The Mirror, Liverpool have placed Kabak on their radar as a potential replacement who could arrive in January. Liverpool’s initial offer would be around 22 million euros, while Schalke valued the 20-year-old at 44m euros before the coronavirus pandemic.
Van Dijk’s injury was a huge blow for Liverpool, who lost one of the best defenders in Europe for the majority of the season and they’re now left with just two first-team centre-backs in Joel Matip and Joe Gomez.
Although Jurgen Klopp has been using midfielder Fabinho in defence for the time being, Liverpool are aware that in order to compete for a second consecutive Premier League title they need depth in the squad.
Aware of Kabak’s quality, Klopp believes that the Turkey international could contribute both in attack and defence, something that Van Dijk has successfully done since his move from Southampton.
Since signing for Schalke from VfB Stuttgart in exchange for 15 million euros, Kabak has managed three goals and one assist in 26 Bundesliga matches.
This season, he has played just two games with the German side as he received a five-game ban for spitting at an opponent in a duel against Werder Bremen on September 26.
After the incident, the young defender stressed that he had no intention of spitting at his rival at any time, making clear that it was an unfortunate event and publicly apologising.
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