Per Florian Plettenberg of Sky Germany, Bayer Leverkusen defender Piero Hincapie is pushing for an exit in the January window due to playing time concerns. The defender has featured primarily as a substitute this season, and has only started two games for the German league leaders.
Liverpool FC is said to be monitoring him after having been linked with Hincapie over the summer.
⚫️ Piero #Hincapie, open for a new challenge in winter as he wants to play regularly. He’s not happy as a substitute.— Florian Plettenberg (@Plettigoal) December 16, 2023
➡️ But: Leverkusen appreciates him & wants to keep him as Tapsoba & Kossounou will join the African Cup.
The 21 y/o cb (left foot) has many inquiries on the… pic.twitter.com/Cel2AqDwQ3
However, as Plettenberg points out, Leverkusen’s preferred centre-backs are off to play in the Africa Cup of Nations, so Hincapie will likely get called into action. And if you think the lack of starts may help dent his transfer value, the reporter has more bad news on that front...
More on #Hincapie: He has NO release clause in summer 2024 - as reported. There are some specific exit options for him but Leverkusen is in control. Confirmed.— Florian Plettenberg (@Plettigoal) December 16, 2023
➡️ No green light from Leverkusen for a transfer in winter but Hincapie is unhappy. Talks will follow
Still, it’s easy to see why Hincapie’s name keeps getting floated about as an option. The Reds had been reportedly searching for a left-footed centre-back to add to the squad with the chase of Chelsea’s Levi Colwill, and Hincapie certainly fits the bill. He can also fill in at left-back, which helps from a squad-building standpoint. Joël Matip’s season-ending injury also makes adding another centre-back, preferably in January, a pressing concern.
So, a move for Hincapie isn’t looking likely. Could Liverpool move for him in the summer? Well, it depends. There aren’t a lot of holes in the squad. It’s pretty much centre-back and defensive midfielder. If we suppose the recruitment team does identify another top-tier defensive midfielder target like Aurélien Tchouaméni or Moisés Caicedo to hold down that position for a long time, then that will probably cost a pretty penny. The armchair general manager in me thinks centre-back will likely take a backseat to that, and with a contract until 2027, Hincapie could get too pricy. And that’s not even getting into his agent, Manuel Sierra, whom he shares with Caicedo. But we’ll see if this rumour continues to gain steam beyond the winter transfer window.