With Ozan Kabak showing quality and promise for Liverpool on a half-season loan, there was some surprise when the Reds chose to return him to Schalke rather than trigger the £20M transfer fee included in his January loan deal.
Then, with Turkey falling out of the Euros while Kabak sat on the bench, rumours emerged that Schalke—now relegated to the 2.Bundesliga—were struggling to find a club willing to pay a fee in line with that £20M Liverpool had agreed.
With Schalke reportedly unable to afford the player on a reduced budget next season and needing to sell, that led to some probably inevitable speculation amongst Liverpool fans the club might return seeking an even better bargain.
However, according to The Athletic’s James Pearce, that won’t happen. No matter the fee, Liverpool won’t sign Kabak this summer and go with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joël Matip, and new signing Ibrahima Konaté as their top four.
That group will be rounded out by at least one of Nat Phillips and Ben Davies, and while there will be some concern around the fact Van Dijk, Gomez, and Matip are returning from injuries, it is hard to see where Kabak would fit in.
It’s a shame for the 21-year-old who grew up a Reds fan, but while a worst case injury scenario might lead to him getting paying time with Liverpool if he was signed, a best case one would mean not even making the matchday squad.