Having passed on the chance to trigger their £18M (€21M) purchase option on Ozan Kabak when the 21-year-old Turkish international’s half-season loan at Anfield ended, Liverpool have now rejected the opportunity to sign the player for just £8.5M (€10M).
That’s the latest from club-connected journalist Neil Jones, who says Schalke, relegated to the 2.Bundesliga and desperate to clear the player’s wages from their books, offered the centre half to Liverpool at the cut-rate price in an attempt to move him on.
While some Liverpool fans will be incredulous that the club would choose to pass on a young and promising player who had a solid loan spell at the club for such a low fee, the reality is that Kabak would currently be fifth on the depth chart at his position.
With Virgil van Dijk untouchable and new signing Ibrahima Konaté now in the mix, signing Kabak would likely have only been considered—at any price—if one of Joël Matip or Joe Gomez was set to depart the club. It seems safe to assume now neither will.
Add in Nat Phillips and Ben Davies, and if anything the Reds have a surplus of centre halves, with Jürgen Klopp never having been a manager inclined to keep senior players around—or to sign new ones—if he doesn’t think he will be able to get them minutes.
As for Kabak, with recent reports of Leicester City interest in the young defender, it could be he will yet end up back in the Premier League with Brendan Rodgers’ Foxes—and if he does it will likely be at a low fee that has some people doing a double-take.