Schalke boss reveals how Benitez signing convinced Klopp over Kabak

Date published: Friday 12th February 2021 10:14 - Jonny Whitfield

Ozan Kabak - pic via

Former Liverpool defender Philipp Degen played a crucial role in helping the Reds sign Ozan Kabak, according to Schalke boss Christian Gross.

Liverpool eased their availability concerns at the back by signing Kabak on loan on deadline day.

The Turkey international signed on loan until the end of the season, with an option to make the deal permanent.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp revealed how his good friend David Wagner played a key role in the deal. Wagner got the sack by Schalke earlier in the season and, as such, had worked with the defender.

However, his successor Gross has outlined how Degen also had a hand in the transfer. The former defender, who moved to Anfield under Rafael Benitez, now works as an agent after retirement.

Gross worked on securing Schalke’s deal for Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi, which allowed Kabak to leave.

“He is super networked in football,” Gross told the Liverpool Echo of the ex-Switzerland international. “Without him, Mustafi would not have come to us.

“He came because Philipp called Jurgen because he knew that Liverpool were looking for a central defender.

“He asked whether Liverpool was interested in Ozan Kabak – so Philipp knew that Schalke could possibly give Kabak to Liverpool – and he could bring Mustafi to Schalke.

“And Schalke is financially not a bed of roses.

“In any case, the changes from Kabak and Mustafi came about thanks to the efforts of Philipp Degen. But we are completely independent from each other financially.”

Kabak, Davies could make debuts

Ozan Kabak Turkey

Kabak and fellow deadline-day signing Ben Davies have yet to play since moving to Merseyside.

Indeed, settling in and learning about Liverpool’s defensive style has proved their top priorities.

However, the pair are in with a chance of making their debuts in Saturday’s clash with Leicester. Fabinho has suffered another muscle issue, forcing him out of contention.

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