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Football Reporting

Champions League

Liverpool draw up five-man centre-back transfer shortlist with Ozan Kabak fee agreed


Liverpool are continuing to keep their options open when it comes to signing a new centre-back in the summer, with RB Leipzig’s Ibrahima Konate and loan signing Ozan Kabak featuring on a five-man shortlist.

The Reds’ interest in Konate has been known for some time, but discussions over a transfer are said to have ‘advanced’ in recent days.

The France under-21 international has a £34million release clause in his contract, with Liverpool having monitored his development in recent years.

Liverpool are hopeful that they could secure a deal at a lower fee for Konate, who has suffered with injury problems this season and missed both legs of the recent Champions League last-16 tie against the Reds.

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Kabak played in both of those matches, and the Reds have agreed an £18million option to make his loan signing from Schalke permanent at the end of the season should they wish.

Kabak is currently on loan at Anfield
Kabak is currently on loan at Anfield

The Turkish international has impressed in recent matches, and he effectively has the rest of the season to try and impress club chiefs enough to earn a permanent move.

Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip remain out of action through injury, with none of the central defensive trio set to return this season.

Konate will effectively be seen as the alternative to Kabak if Liverpool opt to push ahead with a move for the Frenchman, with Van Dijk, Gomez and Matip all slated to return for the 2021/22 campaign.

Brighton defender Ben White is another name the Reds remain keen on, with his status as a homegrown player serving as an advantage.

Marseille’s Duje Caleta-Car was a player who was under consideration in the January transfer window and remains on Liverpool’s list, with Leicester’s Caglar Soyuncu also impressing Reds transfer chief Michael Edwards.

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