Liverpool linked with defensive duo amid injury crisis

Date published: Wednesday 6th January 2016 3:25

Liverpool have been linked with Inter Milan’s Andrea Ranocchia and Schalke’s Joel Matip amid a defensive crisis at Anfield.

Already without Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho and Joe Gomez, Liverpool suffered another injury blow on Tuesday night when Dejan Lovren suffered a hamstring injury in their 1-0 win at Stoke City in the first leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final tie.

Klopp said afterwards that he would now “think about going into the transfer market”.

“Two weeks ago we had three centre backs, that’s a good situation, at the start of the season we had five, now we have none,” Klopp said.

According to Tuttomercatoweb, Liverpool are already closing on a deal to sign Ranocchia from Inter.

The 27-year-old, who is said to have rejected an offer from Norwich City, has already agreed to the Anfield move, according to the Italian website, with Liverpool representatives now in talks with Inter sporting director Piero Ausilio in a bid to finalise a deal within the next 72 hours.

According to Press Association Sport, Liverpool are also tracking Matip, who is out of contract at Schalke the end of the season – but there remains plenty of work to be done to sign the German-born Cameroon international.

At least two French clubs appear to be ahead of Liverpool in the running for the 24-year-old, while Schalke have not given up hope the centre-back will sign a new contract.

Liverpool’s initial intention was to hopefully sign Matip in the summer, but their current crisis may mean they have to bring forward that plan.

Liverpool are also said to be in negotiations with Aston Villa to cut short the loan deal of Tiago Ilori, who is yet to make an appearance for the Midlanders – or indeed his parent club having arrived from Sporting Lisbon in September 2013.

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