Liverpool open talks over potential deal to sign £40m star – reports
Liverpool have opened initial talks over a potential deal to sign £40m-rated Schalke defender Ozan Kabak as Jurgen Klopp looks to replace Dejan Lovren this summer, according to the Daily Mail.
Lovren is being widely tipped to join Zenit St Petersburg after falling behind Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip in the pecking order at Anfield so his exit will mean Liverpool are in the market for a new centre-back.
Several names have been linked with a move to the newly-crowned Premier League champions in recent weeks but the Daily Mail claims that Kabak has now emerged as a serious target for Klopp after impressing in Germany this season.
The newspaper says Liverpool have already held preliminary talks to enquire about the defender’s potential availability this summer and Schalke could be forced to cash-in due to their financial difficulties.
The Bundesliga outfit won’t be playing any form of European football next season after enduring a torrid campaign that saw them finish 12th in the table so Schalke are being tipped to sell some of their top talent to help balance the books.
Kabak is one of their most sell-able assets but understandably they don’t want to lose him on the cheap as the Daily Mail says Schalke value the centre-back at £40m.
Liverpool are expected to baulk at that figure but the report suggests that Schalke could be willing to negotiate a lower fee as long as bonuses are included in any deal.
We’ll have to wait and see whether the Reds formalise their interest but they could face competition as the Daily Mail says the likes of Manchester City, Juventus and Borussia Dortmund have also been linked with Kabak in the past.
However, Klopp’s close relationship with former assistant David Wagner – who’s now in charge at Schalke – should put Liverpool in a strong position if they decide to push ahead with a move for the 20-year-old.
Kabak came through the youth ranks at Galatasaray but joined Schalke last summer and has developed into one of the most highly-rated young centre-backs in Germany football after making 28 first team appearances this season.
The youngster has already been capped at full international level by Turkey having represented his country at every youth level and he’s tipped for a big future so he could be a shrewd signing if Liverpool could get a deal agreed.
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