EXCLUSIVE: Several Liverpool star names on chopping block to fix problem position

Mohamed Salah, Fabinho, Thiago Alcantara Arsenal v Liverpool April 2021

Liverpool may not be able to sign both Ozan Kabak and Ibrahima Konaté in this summer’s transfer window, unless star names leave Anfield to free up funds.

TEAMtalk understands RB Leipzig defender Konaté is at the top of a list of potential targets for Liverpool. The French centre-back is available for around £34million due to a clause in his current contract.

While RB Leipzig chiefs are keen to hang on to Konaté, they are expecting the defender who has suffered with injury problems this season to leave due to the relatively modest release clause in his current deal.

Yet it has emerged that any hopes Klopp had of signing both Konaté and Turkish defender Kabak may be curtailed by financial considerations.

Kabak has impressed during a loan spell from Schalke and Liverpool could look to make his temporary move permanent this summer, with a fee of around £18million set by the Bundesliga strugglers.

With Kabak making his mark at the heart of Liverpool’s injury-hit defence, he could jump ahead of Konaté if Klopp is forced to pick between the two centre-backs. However, this could all change if big-name players leave Liverpool this summer, freeing up extra funds for transfer arrivals.

'Liverpool need to make signings this summer'

Former Liverpool defender Stephen Warnock says the club must sign a centre-back and a striker this summer.

Joel Matip, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Xherdan Shaqiri, Naby Keita and Divock Origi could all leave Liverpool in the upcoming transfer window and if Klopp decides to shake up his forward line, he might consider selling one of his misfiring forwards.

Mo Salah has been strongly linked with moves to Real Madrid or Paris Saint-Germain and his exit could offer up the funds Klopp may need to revive a team that has lost its way badly this season, while Roberto Firmino has been linked with a return to German football.

Anfield chiefs have confirmed the global pandemic has cost the club around £120milllion in lost revenue, with the impact of that financial hit certain to affect Klopp’s spending power.

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Reds star tipped to fill midfield role

Rio Ferdinand believes that Trent Alexander-Arnold has ‘every club in the bag’ to be a midfielder at Liverpool but thinks Jurgen Klopp will not take that gamble and continue playing him at full-back.

The 22-year-old was one of Liverpool’s better players, despite the Reds suffering a Champions League exit after a 0-0 draw against Real Madrid on Wednesday evening. Jurgen Klopp’s men dominated at Anfield but couldn’t find the net and lost 3-1 on aggregate in the quarter-final tie.

The full-back scored a brilliant late winner against Aston Villa in the Premier League at Anfield on Saturday. That came after he struggled in the first clash with Real in Spain and was also dropped by England.

That sparked a massive debate over whether Alexander-Arnold would miss out of the Euro 2020 squad.

However, the young defender has been back to his best on Liverpool’s last two games. That prompted a favoutrable reaction from BT Sport trio Ferdinand, Michael Owen and Gary Lineker, who all think Alexander-Arnold could play further forward.

“I just think he’s too good to be a full-back,” Lineker remarked, before Ferdinand said: “He’s got every club in the bag.

“We’ve seen Cancelo at Man City do it this season, we’ve seen Kimmich do it, Lahm’s done it, switched positions. Has he got the ability to do it?

“He was a midfielder as a kid, so I believe he has. It’s all about the manager and the structure of the team. But I don’t see Klopp switching him from a full-back.”