John Barnes thinks RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano would be a "great" signing for Liverpool.
The Reds are without Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk for most of this season after the pair suffered serious knee injuries.
Joel Matip has struggled with various niggles and Dejan Lovren left the club last summer.
Jurgen Klopp has deployed Fabinho and Jordan Henderson in the heart of the backline, while Rhys Williams and Nathaniel Phillips have been more prominent first-team figures than anyone would have expected.
Liverpool have been linked with several central defenders in the January transfer window, although Klopp himself has said the club are unlikely to make any signings this month.
And while Barnes believes Upamecano, who has a £40m release clause in his contract that becomes active in the summer, would be a great signing for Liverpool, he acknowledges it will be difficult for them to agree a deal in January.
“All top teams are looking at him (Upamecano), and the reason being is he’s one of the best centre-backs in the world," he told BonusCodeBets.
“It would have been better had he been available now in January, because at the end of the season we might not need a centre-back or have the problems that we have now.
“If we sign a centre-back now for just short term, we then have another centre-back, alongside all the others that are going to be available next season.
“I feel that if any top player becomes available, any team will be looking at him, not just Liverpool. It's the same with [Kalidou] Koulibaly at Napoli, he’s one wanted by a lot of other clubs also.
“But yes, Upamecano would be a great signing for Liverpool. He’s young, very talented and the right profile of player we should be looking at.
“It would be a good signing if we can get him of course, as there will be many other teams after him as well.”
Liverpool will return to the top of the Premier League if they beat Manchester United on Sunday.
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