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Rumour Mongering: Liverpool and Arsenal Battle for Simon Kjaer

This is not your Virgil van Dijk fallback.

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

With Liverpool seemingly having been forced to abandon the Virgil van Dijk chase—though some continue to hope things could change—it's no surprise to see the club linked with a few other centre halves, and today, half the Turkish football press have them in a battle with Arsenal for Fenerbahce's Simon Kjaer.

Moreover, according to Fanatik, Turks Voerbal, and others today, Arsenal have had a £10M-plus offer rejected and that means Liverpool now have the time they need to swoop in and beat the Gunners to a defender they targeted following their Van Dijk failures last week. Or at least that's how the story goes.

If Kjaer were a target, though, it would mean a shift in approach at Anfield. A shift from looking for a defender who could start regularly and would almost certainly push Dejan Lovren to third on the depth chart and instead bringing in a new third, leaving Lovren and Joël Matip as the default starting defensive pairing.

For Arsenal, meanwhile, Kjaer would similarly fill a depth role as third or even fourth centre half, and so the supposed battle for him being concocted by the Turkish press—where Fenerbahce are batting away £10M offers and big English clubs are swooping for his signature—seems more than a little far fetched.

It's not impossible Arsenal or Liverpool might be interested, though there have been no links from their side suggesting they are, but the supposed mad scramble for Kjaer makes a little more sense in light of the fact that a third English club is meant to be chasing him: newly promoted minnows Brighton & Hove Albion.

It's a story that happens all the time. A player from a league with less cash than the Premier League is linked with a few small clubs in England. Inevitably, a big club or two get tacked on—a transparent attempt to drive up the fee or push a deal through. Eventually, the player signs for the small club. So it goes.

Simon Kjaer isn't Liverpool's Van Dijk fallback plan, and he's not a priority target for Arsenal. If either club are interested in him, it would be as a depth piece at the right price. The most likely result of all this, though, as it usually is, is that in a few weeks Kjaer will show up as Brighton's big summer signing.

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