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Liverpool transfer news: Champions identify Virgil van Dijk replacement and eye January swoop

Ozan Kabak
(Image credit: PA)

Liverpool are weighing up a move for Schalke defender Ozan Kabak in the January transfer window, according to reports.

The Premier League champions look set to be without star centre-back Virgil van Dijk for the remainder of the campaign after the Dutchman injured his anterior cruciate ligament in last weekend's Merseyside derby.

A poor tackle from Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has forced Liverpool to consider signing a replacement for Van Dijk.

Brighton defender Ben White has been linked with a move to Anfield, but the Sunday Mirror claim that Kabak is at the head of Klopp's shortlist.

The report states that Liverpool have opened talks with Schalke over a potential January transfer.

The Turkey international is valued at around £30m by his current employers, who have endured a wretched start to the Bundesliga season.

However, Liverpool hope that an initial offer of £20m plus add-ons would be enough to prise him away from the Veltins-Arena.

Despite being just 20 years of age, Kabak has started two of Schalke's five Bundesliga games so far in 2020/21.

Klopp is a big admirer of the youngster and considered a summer swoop for him, only for the coronavirus pandemic to alter Liverpool's financial outlook.

Kabak was valued at around £40m at the start of this year but Schalke have adjusted their expectations in a post-pandemic world.

And the Reds could attempt to line up a deal before the mid-season market officially opens, which would allow Kabak to move to Anfield on New Year's Day.

Liverpool let Dejan Lovren go in the summer and are now short of options in the heart of the backline following Van Dijk's injury.

Fabinho has dropped back into the position but that leaves Liverpool needing to replace their first-choice holding midfielder.

Klopp's side came from behind to beat Sheffield United 2-1 on Saturday.

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