Liverpool open talks for £20m Virgil van Dijk injury replacement who was wanted in summer



Posted Monday, October 26, 2020 by Express.co.uk

Liverpool have a decision to make in January with Virgil van Dijk potentially missing the remainder of the season.

Liverpool have reportedly begun negotiations with Schalke in an attempt to sign Ozan Kabak in the January transfer window. Jurgen Klopp is short of options in defence after it was confirmed last week that Virgil van Dijk had ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in the Merseyside derby.

The Holland international will soon undergo surgery but it has been suggested that he is extremely unlikely to play again this season.

That leaves Joe Gomez and Joel Matip as the only senior recognised centre-backs available to Klopp, although Fabinho has proven he's capable of stepping in.

Gomez and Matip though have never started a league game together as the centre-back pairing at Anfield and they've both had their own injury troubles.

Matip in particular has long been dealing with muscle problems which has limited his game time over the past few seasons.


Liverpool open talks for £20m Virgil van Dijk injury replacement who was wanted in summer
Liverpool are set to be without Virgil van Dijk for the season (Image: GETTY)

Klopp has proven that he's not afraid to give Liverpool's talented young players the chance to prove themselves with Rhys Williams coming on against Ajax in midweek.

Billy Koumetio and Sepp van den Berg are also tipped to feature for Liverpool on a more regular basis while Nat Phillips has more experience than most having spent last season out on loan at Stuttgart.

But it appears as though Liverpool are already putting plans in place to bring in extra cover for Van Dijk in January.

According to the Sunday Mirror, Liverpool have opened talks with Bundesliga outfit Schalke over a move for Kabak.

It is claimed that Liverpool are willing to pay £20million up front to sign the 20-year-old.

Schalke are hoping for closer to £30m, but the report states Liverpool are prepared to include instalments to make up the remaining cost.

Kabak was hotly linked with a move to Anfield in the summer transfer window as a replacement for Dejan Lovren.

Liverpool instead focused their efforts on deals for Kostas Tsimikas, Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota.

Liverpool open talks for £20m Virgil van Dijk injury replacement who was wanted in summer
Liverpool are interested in Ozan Kabak (Image: GETTY)

But Van Dijk's injury - coupled with issues surrounding Matip's fitness - is seemingly pushing Klopp to bring in another central defender in the New Year.

The January transfer market is notorious for seeing inflated transfers over the years with clubs struggling to negotiate.

Liverpool have proven in the past that they're not afraid to spend in January though when the opportunity presents itself.

Van Dijk was notably signed in January back in 2018 while Philippe Coutinho was similarly brought in during the mid-season transfer window back in 2013.



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