Liverpool are in the market for a central defender, especially to replace Dejan Lovren, who completed his move to Zenit St. Petersburg earlier in the day.
According to multiple media outlets, the Merseysiders are interested in hiring the services of Turkish international Ozan Kabak from Schalke.
As per The Daily Mail, the Premier League champions have identified the 20-year-old as a replacement for the Croatian international and Klopp’s good relationship with Schalke manager David Wagner could help us secure the signing.
The British news source have mentioned that the combative central defender is valued at around £40million and the German side will push to get the asking fee, however, due to poor financial situation, they might have to sell him for a reduced price.
In Germany, Sport Bild covered a story and stated that Klopp wants to sign the former Galatasaray player and Liverpool have even made contact with the Bundesliga club to lure him.
The renowned outlet have mentioned that Kabak’s contract is going to expire in 2024 and it has a release clause of 45 million euros but the transfer is negotiable and the financially troubled club would want at least 35 million euros (£32million) from his sale.
The 6 ft 1 defender scored 3 goals and provided 1 assist in the recently concluded league campaign, however, in the defensive third, Wagner’s men were average.
Schalke won their last league game in January 2020 against Borussia Monchengladbach. In the last 16 Bundesliga games, they lost 10, drew 6 and Kabak played in 13 fixtures.
It must be remembered that Van Dijk was in an average Southampton side and failed to win in his last four league appearances for the club before moving to Anfield. The Dutch center half has since been world class for the Reds and even Jurgen Klopp claims he had no idea that Virgil would be this good (via Goal).
Kabak, who made his senior debut for Turkey last year, loves Van Dijk and wants to be like him. Earlier in the season, the youngster said (Bundesliga.com):
“My personal aim is to become a top defender in maybe two or three years, like Virgil van Dijk. He’s my idol, I really like him. As a footballer? I like his style and how he plays, so I can say he’s my football idol.”
Would the center back prove to be a hit if he does end up signing for the European Champions? Only time will tell. In your opinion, How much should the Anfield club spend to secure his signature?