Liverpool are in “regular contact” with a Schalke defender ahead of the January transfer window, according to reports – but it is not Ozan Kabak.
Reports have linked Liverpool with a move for Schalke’s Kabak as they look for defensive cover while Virgil van Dijk is out injured for a number of months.
After failing to replace Dejan Lovren in the summer, Liverpool were already concerned about a lack of depth at centre-back. Following van Dijk’s injury, those concerns have grown.
Admittedly, everyone who has stepped in so far has impressed. Fabinho has excelled when dropping into the defence before his own injury, for example, and should be back soon.
In his absence, Klopp has turned to some of his younger options. Nat Phillips impressed in their win over West Ham in the Premier League, and Rhys Williams was a standout player against Atalanta in the Champions League.
The latter received praise for his role in helping Liverpool keep one of Europe’s most dangerous attacks at bay. For example, Peter Crouch said he hasn’t “put a foot wrong” when he has played so far.
But rumours still persist that Liverpool could look to sign additional cover at the back in January. If they do, reports have suggested it is more likely to be a younger player than an expensive name.
One of the names to be linked has been Kabak. The 20-year-old has been one of the brighter spots for Schalke while they have been struggling in the Bundesliga.
However, according to Bild, Liverpool have actually revived their interest in one of his teammates.
Liverpool back in for Thiaw
Malick Thiaw is the player in question. The 19-year-old was initially linked with the club as a potential successor to Lovren before they sold the Croatian international.
Thiaw’s name dropped off the agenda as links with Kabak instead became more prominent. The former has since signed a new contract with Schalke until 2024 – and he does not have a release clause.
But with a number of other competitors in the race for the slightly more senior Kabak as well, Liverpool could turn their focus back to Thiaw.
The Finnish international, who was born in Germany, has already been compared to current Liverpool defender Joel Matip, who also came through at Schalke.
Now, Bild claim that Liverpool are continuing to contact Thiaw through their scouts. They will continue to monitor his development, although it is not yet clear if they will make a bid.