Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is ready to end his bid to sign a new centre-half this summer – and will instead ask a trusted star to cover at the back when needed.
The Premier League champions were thought to be on look-out for a replacement for Dejan Lovren, who sealed a £10.9m move to Zenit St Petersburg.
The Croatian made 15 appearances last season before ending a six-year spell at Anfield. He had fallen to fourth-choice centre-back in the pecking order behind Virgil Van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.
A number of pricey and big name replacements were, as a result, linked with the Reds. The costliest of those, Diego Carlos of Sevilla, comes with a €75m asking price. That’s after Liverpool were told to forget any hopes of landing the Brazilian on the cheap.
Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly would also come with a mammoth price tag, while Schalke’s Ozan Kabak is valued at £32m.
But with Liverpool unlikely to spend big money this summer, it seems Klopp could instead ask Fabinho to cover at the back when needed.
The Brazilian star has made a big impact in midfield since signing from Monaco for €55m in May 2018.
During his time at the club, Liverpool have won four trophies with Fabinho a calming influence in front of the back four.
On a few occasions, Klopp has asked Fabinho to drop into the heart of the defence. Most notably, during a 1-0 win at Brighton the season before last when he caught the eye.
Now, according to the Liverpool Echo, Klopp will ask Fabinho to act as cover during the 2020/21 season should the need arise.
The paper claims as a result, Klopp will now abandon his plan to sign a new centre-half.
Liverpool could have the flexibility to move Fabinho back should the Reds prove successful in their push to sign Thiago Alcantara. On Monday, Bild accused the Bayern star of ‘lying’ over his future amid links to Anfield.
Liverpool to watch Ben White progress
Part of Liverpool’s plan to abandon a centre-back hunt could be so they can track Ben White’s progress this season.
White is ready to embark on his first season in the Premier League after signing a new contract with Brighton.
The defender seriously impressed on loan at Leeds United last season, helping them win promotion. However, despite making a number of bids, Leeds could not take him back to Elland Road.
Instead, Brighton stood their ground, and managed to secure White’s future by tying him down to a new four-year contract.
It is likely that White’s name will appear in the gossip columns again in the coming months, though. Leeds were not the only team tracking him, with Liverpool also watching on.
As per a report last week, the Reds plan to monitor his progress with a view to making a potential move next summer.