Liverpool are rumored to be after Schalke defenders Malick Thiaw and Ozan Kabak, and may submit official bids in the January transfer window.
Liverpool are without star defender Virgil van Dijk for the remainder of this season. The Dutch center-back has undergone successful surgery after injuring his ACL against Everton last month, but will still miss the remainder of the season.
Joel Matip has picked up constant knocks, and makeshift centre-back Fabinho is the latest to join the growing list of injured defenders. While both senior players will be back by the time the transfer window opens, the situation highlights Liverpool’s vulnerability.
Constant injuries have forced manager Jurgen Klopp to hand starts to the impressive but inexperienced 19-year-old Rhys Williams, and fringe-player Nathaniel Phillips. In order to mount a title charge, Liverpool know that they need reinforcements at the back in January.
Schalke’s Malick Thiaw, the new Joel Matip?
After first appearing in March, Liverpool’s Malick Thiaw links are now resurfacing, with German newspaper BILD reporting that the Reds are in regular contact with the defender through their scouts.
The 19-year-old Schalke defender has captivated observers in Schalke’s last two games, even scoring a goal in a 1-1 draw. The 6’3 ft tall ball-playing defender is drawing comparisons to Liverpool’s Joel Matip, who also impressed scouts in a similar fashion as a teenager playing for Schalke in 2009.
As misreported earlier by various sites, Thiaw’s contract does not have a release clause of 7.5 million euros. The Finnish youngster’s contract with Schalke runs out in 2024 and has no release clause set.
While Schalke would want a high sum for the youngster, Liverpool would hope for reasonable negotiation. The German club sold Matip, Leroy Sane, Max Meyer, and Saed Kolasinac to Premier League clubs with little to no resistance in the past.
Thiaw’s Schalke teammate Ozan Kabak, target for the Reds?
Liverpool are also linked with Schalke youngster Ozan Kabak, with their first interest appearing over 3 months ago. The Turkish defender was on Klopp’s target list in the summer transfer window, but a move failed to materialize.
Schalke are looking for bids in the region of 30 million for Kabak, double the amount they paid for the 20-year-old to VfB Stuttgart last year.
The fixtures in the Premier League and Champions League are coming thick and fast. Liverpool are feeling the full force of the fixture congestion and may make official bids for either (or both) of the Schalke defenders in January.
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