Liverpool eyeing Bundesliga defender to fill VVD void

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Liverpool have a problem in defence.

The Reds drew 2-2 with Everton at the weekend and the derby was marred by an injury sustained by Virgil van Dijk.

The Netherlands international has been central to all that is good about Liverpool in recent months, but a reckless, flying tackle from goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has left him facing a lengthy lay-off.

The Athletic’s David Ornstein has reported that the injury, which is a torn anterior cruciate ligament, could be worse than first feared.

Nevertheless, the injury will leave him facing surgery and months on the sidelines, and it has left manager Jurgen Klopp with a hole to fill in his squad.

Against Ajax in the Champions League, he deployed Fabinho at centre-back, and it appears that plans are afoot to strengthen in the January transfer window.

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Sport Witness carries a report from Italian outlet Sport Media Set, claiming that the Reds are looking at Ozan Kabak, the Schalke defender, as a possible acquisition.

Sport Media Set also report, though, that AC Milan are interested, too, meaning that Liverpool may not have a clear run at his signature.

Kabak would cost €30m (£27.1m) but any deal at that price could also rest on whether Milan follow up their interest.

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Klopp is said to be “aiming” to sign the 20-year-old, who has already won four caps for Turkey and made 30 appearances for Schalke.

They have been in roundly terrible form this season, though, and lost their opening three fixtures; they were thumped 8-0 by Bayern Munich, 3-1 by Werder Bremen, and 4-0 by RB Leipzig before a 1-1 draw with Union Berlin.

Kabak was absent for the final two after being sent off in the Bremen defeat.

GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…

One would think that Liverpool would look for an experienced head to come in and try to fill Van Dijk’s sizeable boots but this would be going in the opposite direction and it may well pay off.

Despite Schalke’s ugly run of form, Kabak is a highly-regarded defender and he is young enough to grow and improve at wherever he ends up.

If he were to move to Anfield, he would eventually learn from and potentially play alongside the Dutchman, and Klopp has a history of nurturing young defenders into stars.

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He has done it across the backline, as Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson have all blossomed under his stewardship.

Kabak could be the next beneficiary but Liverpool must be careful that they are not drawn into a bidding war with Milan.

Even if they are, though, one has to say their need is greater than the Italian side’s.

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