Liverpool have been linked with four more big-name defenders as Jurgen Klopp scrambles to find a replacement for Virgil van Dijk.
The Holland star looks set to miss most of the season after sustaining an anterior cruciate ligament injury against Everton.
Jordan Pickford’s reckless challenge forced the defender off the pitch and he will now undergo knee surgery.
But it’s not just in England where Van Dijk’s ACL tear makes headline news.
The towering Dutchman’s lay-off is also dominating the column inches across Europe.
Tuesday’s Euro Paper Talk suggests the Reds could strike a deal for a bargain Barcelona man as a short-term replacement.
Now Italian outlet Calciomercato have mentioned four other potential targets for Liverpool.
They state intermediaries have contacted the Reds to try and resurrect a potential deal for Kalidou Koulibaly.
The towering Senegalese defender is free to leave Napoli if any side matches their €80m valuation. While Manchester City saw a €60m bid rejected in the summer, he is a player who was long linked with Liverpool.
Now the Italian outlet claim ‘viable tracks will be presented to Klopp’ to see if they have an interest in signing the defender.
Furthermore, Koulibaly isn’t the only player likely to be presented as a transfer option to Liverpool.
The suggestion is that agents will be at work, seeing an opportunity to steer their clients to Anfield. As such, Calciomercato believes Klopp and sporting director Michael Edwards will also consider deals to sign three other men.
Dayot Upamecano – mentioned by Jamie Carragher – Jose Gimenez and Milan Skriniar are also named as possibilities for 2021.
Deals for any one of the trio are likely to cost in excess of €60m. It also remains to be seen whether RB Leipzig, Atletico Madrid and Inter, respectively, sanction the sales of their star defenders mid-season.
However, with Van Dijk’s absence likely to leave a huge void at Liverpool, the outlet does expect Klopp to bring in someone in January. They state that would be his preferred option now, as opposed to delaying until the summer.
Aldridge blasts VAR official over Van Dijk incident
Liverpool legend John Aldridge has accused VAR official David Coote of being the big villain of the story that looks set to have ended Van Dijk’s season.
Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford came under-fire from Reds fans after his lunge on Van Dijk ended with the Dutch defender suffering an ACL injury, yet it was the role of Coote that infuriated Aldridge.
Speaking to sundayworld.com, the former Reds frontman suggested Pickford should have been sent off. But he also thought the decision to keep him on the field in game was an unforgivable mistake.
“The best referee in the Premier League was made to look like a fool by VAR man Coote. There is no excuse for him not asking Michael Oliver to look at the replay on that challenge,” said Aldridge.
“I don’t think Pickford was malicious in that challenge as he is a keeper who makes a lot of mistakes.”