The true feelings of Liverpool regarding a former player who played a pivotal role have been revealed in damning fashion for the ex-Red.
Under FSG and transfer guru Michael Edwards, Liverpool have been received widespread acclaim for how they have operated in the transfer market. Their big-name signings rarely fail to make the grade. Furthermore, the club have generated significant fees for players deemed not good enough to crack the first-team.
With a proven track record behind them, it perhaps came as no surprise to see Liverpool turn down their £18m opportunity to sign Ozan Kabak on a permanent deal this summer.
The Turkey international arrived in loan in January amid an unprecedented injury crisis at centre-half. After overcoming initial struggles, Kabak performed admirably down the stretch to help Liverpool secure a third-placed finish.
Ibrahima Konate’s arrival ensured Kabak was no longer needed. But with parent club Schalke suffering relegation from the Bundesliga, Kabak has been told to find a new club.
Thus far, genuine interest has been thin on the ground, and per the Liverpool Echo, Liverpool wouldn’t bring Kabak back ‘even for free.’
That is a damning indictment on a player who played such a crucial role last season. Now, German football journalist Constantin Eckner has described Kabak’s summer thus far as a “weird situation”.
Speaking to the Blood Red Podcast (via the Liverpool Echo); Eckner said: “Kabak is rated highly but Schalke need him to go because they can’t pay him – that’s the situation.
“Kabak was set to return to training with Schalke after his holidays after the Euros. But they told him to have more days off to find a new club. He has the right to train if he wants to, but there is no point! It is a really weird situation.
“The first thought a couple of months ago was that he would stay with Liverpool. They were not the worst six months in his career and he did a decent job, playing alongside Nat Phillips and all the rest of the stuff going on with the defence.
“But after they signed Konate, there was probably no way they would sign Kabak as well at this point with three first-choice defenders returning.”
Interest from other Prem suitors “went nowhere”
Leicester and Crystal Palace had both been touted as potential landing spots, though those trails have since gone cold.
Eckner added: “The next thought was that he could go to Leicester because Brendan Rodgers plays a back-three and they have four first-rate defenders and adding one more was reasonable. But negotiations went nowhere.
“Then Schalke were in talks with Crystal Palace. But they have then signed Joachim Andersen from Lyon for €27m – so he’s probably not going to Palace any more.
“Clubs are interested but then they find someone else who is more compelling and Kabak is still outside on the street in the rain.”
“Schalke might even terminate his contract before the end of August so he has time to find a new club.
“But it’s really weird to have someone like him on the market and begging for a club. It’s not like he’s trying to join Real Madrid or something!”