Fresh twist in Liverpool defender hunt amid enquiry for Newcastle old boy

Date published: Thursday 11th March 2021 5:54 - Samuel Bannister

Liverpool have asked about Porto defender Chancel Mbemba as their search for reinforcements at the back goes on, according to a report.

The Premier League champions have had to cope without Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip for large parts of the season.

Down to the bare bones of their squad, they were using players like Fabinho and Jordan Henderson out of position. Academy graduates Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams have also taken on larger roles.

Liverpool knew they had to act in January, but still left it late to sign Ozan Kabak on loan from Schalke and Ben Davies on a permanent deal from Preston.

Davies is still waiting for his debut due to injury issues of his own. Kabak, on the other hand, has played an important part in recent weeks.

But rumours continue to linger that Liverpool could look to strengthen their defence further in the summer. The latest name to be linked is Mbemba.

According to Tuttomercatoweb, Liverpool have made an enquiry for the Porto centre-back. Mbemba is out of contract in 2022 and all signs are pointing towards a sale this summer.

The 26-year-old could be available for a fee in the region of €15m, and is also attracting interest from Napoli.

But Liverpool are apparently another contender, and they could give him the chance to return to the Premier League after a less than memorable spell with Newcastle.

Mbemba spent three seasons at St James’ Park, featuring fairly frequently in the 2015-16 season, by the end of which they suffered relegation.

His role decreased in the Championship and he did not get much of a chance after Newcastle immediately returned to the top flight. Hence, he was eventually sold to Porto in 2018.

The DR Congo international has resurrected his career in Portugal. During his time with Porto, he has won three trophies.

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Still with plenty of years left in the tank, Mbemba could be ready to test himself at a higher level again. Although, moving to Liverpool might be quite the jump.

Even so, TMW indicate that Liverpool are showing an interest. It is not yet clear if they will make an offer to the former Anderlecht man.

Do Liverpool need defensive reinforcements?

While it is too late to bring anyone else in this season, Liverpool have been told that they need better centre-backs if they are to win the Champions League.

Confidence is on the up again on Merseyside after Liverpool knocked RB Leipzig out of the tournament. Winning it could be their best route to qualifying for next season’s edition.

But they have been warned in the wake of that win over Leipzig that their current defence is not good enough.

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