20-year old Turkish center-back Ozan Kabak has been said to have been on Liverpool’s radar for awhile, with rumors back in July suggesting that talks had been opened with Schalke 04 to make a move for him as a replacement for Dejan Lovren. However the club focused its energies on a back-up for Andy Robertson, the front three, and a midfield boost instead this summer (and also believed that Virgil Van Dijk is invincible, as we all did).
When dark times fell upon us however courtesy of Jordan Pickford’s challenge that effectively ended Van Dijk’s season, reports of Kabak being linked with Liverpool have resurfaced and intensified. According to The Mirror, Liverpool could be planning a £20million move for him to bring him in to play in January. The report suggests that Klopp is a big fan of Kabak, and that Liverpool are preparing an initial £20million offer with add-ons. Schalke was hoping to secure about £40million for the defender, but have had to reduce their valuation due to the pandemic’s impact on finances.
Kabak arrived at Schalke only last year from VfB Stuttgart, for £13million, and also represents the Turkish national team.
Make of this what you will. Van Dijk’s recovery will be slow and painful one imagines, and a reinforcement would alleviate some of the tension associated with Liverpool’s backline at the moment, with Matip proving injury-prone, and Fabinho deputizing as a capable but not a natural center-half.