Jurgen Klopp has a total of five men on his shopping list after Fenway Sports Group reportedly gave Jurgen Klopp permission to sign a new defender for Liverpool.
The Reds go into Saturday evening’s clash against West Ham with just Joe Gomez their only fit senior centre-half.
Following the season-ending ACL injury sustained by Virgil van Dijk, Liverpool have now lost stand-in Fabinho. While the Brazilian’s hamstring injury isn’t as bad as first feared, it still leaves the Reds light at the back.
With Joel Matip also on the sidelines, Klopp insisted on Friday that he was “excited” to find a solution to the issue.
It’s since prompted the Reds boss to name seven players at the club he feels could fill-in if required.
However, the summer sale of Dejan Lovren and subsequent injury to Van Dijk has left Liverpool desperately short.
Matip has started just two Premier League games in 12 months, further highlighting the problem.
As such, 90min now say Liverpool’s owners FSG have given Klopp permission to sign a new defender in January.
The news will come as a huge boost to Klopp as he looks to retain the Premier League title.
The likes of David Alaba and Kalidou Koulibaly have been mentioned as targets.
Links to Alaba even prompted a strongly-worded response from Bayern boss Hansi Flick.
In addition, it’s reported Klopp has been given a budget of £40m to land his man. It’s claimed FSG are willing to provide the funds needed to back Klopp. However, they don’t want to spend over the odds on a newbee with selling clubs knowing the predicament Liverpool find themselves in.
As such, they claim Schalke’s Ozan Kabak and Dayot Upamecano of RB Leipzig feature right at the top of their wanted list.
Of the two, Upamecano would likely prove the most difficult to sign, given his exit clause does not kick in until the summer.
Three new names on Liverpool wanted list
There are, however, three other names who Klopp and sporting director Michael Edwards are considering.
As per the report, Liverpool will also consider Pau Torres, Jules Kounde and Mykola Matvienko.
Kounde was a summer target for Manchester City, prior to their capture for Ruben Dias.
Shakhtar Donetsk star Matvienko is perhaps the most interesting proposition. He has impressed Liverpool scouts while playing in the Champions League and for Ukraine.
Rated in the £35m bracket – which fits Liverpool’s budget – he could well be the man they find most obtainable in January.
The report, however, does state that Klopp could shelve plans to sign a new defender until the summer. That’s should he be unable to sign one of his targets and within his budget limitations.