Soccer

Liverpool’s four-man shortlist in centre-back hunt with January transfer likely

Liverpool have reportedly drawn up a four-man shortlist to find a replacement for injured centre-half duo Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez in January.

The Reds may have lost their first-choice partnership at the back for the rest of the season, with Van Dijk unlikely to feature again in 2020/21 after damaging his ACL away at Everton last month.

And to add to Jurgen Klopp’s woes, Gomez sustained his own knee injury on international duty with England this week and is now expected to miss a “significant part” of the season.

Anfield chiefs are therefore likely to dip into the January transfer market to sign a replacement for the crocked pair.

According to The Mirror, Liverpool have identified four potential targets ahead of the winter window.

RB Leipzig star Dayot Upamecano is believed to be one of them, although they could land the 22-year-old for just £40million if they wait until the end of the season.

Upamecano, who is widely considered one of the most promising defenders in European football, has a release clause in his Leipzig contract which will be reduced to £40million next summer.

The Premier League champions would have to part with a bigger fee if they want to prise him away from Germany at the turn of the year, which leaves them with a conundrum.

Brighton ace Ben White is also said to be on Liverpool’s radar following his impressive start to life in the Premier League.

Leeds were also tipped to sign White over the summer, reportedly failing with two bids for the 23-year-old, and Brighton are rumoured to be demanding £30million for his services.

Schalke’s Ozan Kabak and Torino’s Gleison Bremer are the other names on their shortlist.

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Until the January window opens, Klopp will have to find an alternative solution alongside Joel Matip at centre-back.

Fabinho is capable of operating in central defence, while youngsters Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams have performed well when called upon in recent weeks.

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