Premier League • England

Klopp tipped to bring rapid defender to Liverpool on free transfer as easy upgrade on struggling duo

Caglar Soyuncu, Merih Demiral, Hakan Calhanoglu of Turkey celebrating with supporters at the end of the qualifying match at Euro 2020 group H, match between France and Turkey

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is reportedly weighing up a surprise move for a free-agent centre-half this summer as he looks to strengthen his struggling defence.

The Reds have enjoyed huge success during the German’s reign in charge, last season winning both domestic cups and coming close to an unprecedented quadruple. Liverpool have also reached three Champions League finals during Klopp’s eight seasons in charge.

And Liverpool’s coronation as 2020 Premier League champions – ending a 30-year-wait – means Klopp will always retain legendary status on Merseyside.

However, this season, Liverpool have suffered a pretty meteoric fall from grace.

Having relinquished their grip on both cups, they are also set to crash out of the Champions League at the first knockout stage. Chasing a three-goal deficit against Real Madrid in the second leg of their last 16 tie, few people are giving them a chance.

As a result, Liverpool pretty much only have a top-four place to play for this season. However, after losing seven of their 23 games so far, the Reds are currently nine points adrift of Tottenham in fourth.

Indeed, their issues this season have been well documented and Klopp himself has acknowledged a major rebuild is needed. To make that happen, though, Liverpool do need serious cash to spend.

Thankfully, though, the club have confirmed an annual profit. As a result, big money is now set to be ploughed into the playing squad.

Klopp will undoubtedly target midfield reinforcements this summer. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Naby Keita appear certain to leave as free agents. In addition, there remains doubts over whether James Milner will stay for another season.

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Caglar Soyuncu on Liverpool transfer radar

However, as well as new midfielders, there is a growing feeling that Klopp will also look to bolster his defence.

While Virgil van Dijk has been below his best in recent months, his future is not in doubt. The same, though, cannot be said for either Joel Matip or Joe Gomez.

The pair have struggled to recapture their top form this season with both coming in for strong criticism in recent weeks.

And Danny Murphy suggested Matip may be on his way this summer after suggesting Klopp may look to move six players on.

As a result, it comes as no surprise to see Klopp considering some central defensive upgrades this summer.

Now, according to 90min, Liverpool are putting themselves into the mix to sign Caglar Soyuncu.

The Turkey defender falls out of contract this summer at Leicester following five seasons at the King Power.

And while rarely featuring for the Foxes this season, he remains very much a man in demand.

To that end, Atletico Madrid are reportedly leading the charge to sign him. However, the report claims Liverpool and Newcastle are also considering an approach.

Per the article, Liverpool will have to act quickly to try and beat Atletico to his signing. That’s because the 26-year-old is reportedly on the verge of accepting a move to the Spanish capital ahead of the summer window.

Liverpool can do better than Soyuncu

Described as a “very, very quick and very assured defender” by Rio Ferdinand back in June 2021, Soyuncu has been below his best for quite some time now.

Klopp may see the signing of Soyuncu as a challenge, however. And at his best, he undoubtedly has some excellent qualities. But they have been absent from his game for some time now with his potential move away and contract situation at Leicester blamed by some for his slump in form.

Indeed, if Liverpool are to return to among the elite next season, they cannot afford to be taking chances on the likes of Soyuncu.

That said, a move to Atletico Madrid represents an excellent move for the defender. And he will be likely find himself competing in Europe next season with Diego Simeone’s side currently fourth in LaLiga.

Soyuncu is one of two free agents likely to leave Leicester this summer with Youri Tielemans also due to depart.

The Turkey defender has been at Leicester since a £18m move from Freiburg in 2018 and has made 127 appearances for the club, scoring three times.

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