Manchester United and Liverpool are among a number of clubs interested in signing highly rated Schalke centre-back Ozan Kabak in the upcoming January transfer window.
The Premier League rivals look set to join RB Leipzig, currently third in the Bundesliga, and a number of other European sides in the race for the 20-year-old defender's signature, according to a report in the Daily Mail (opens in new tab).
A tough, uncompromising defender whose form has been the sole bright spot in a chastening season for Schalke who sit bottom of the Bundesliga, Kabak's style would be suited to the Premier League's rough and tumble and is one of the names under consideration by United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to provide a mid-season boost to a leaky defence.
The Red Devils have won six of their last seven Premier League fixtures, dropping points only in the drab goalless draw with Manchester City, but have nevertheless struggled to keep clean sheets in the topsy-turvy 2020/21 season. United have conceded more league goals than any other team in the top 10 and Solskjaer is worried by the capitulation to RB Leipzig which resulted in elimination from the Champions League.
They also retain an interest in Leipzig stopper Dayot Upamecano, but the France international is expected to join German giants Bayern Munich next summer. Should Upamecano move on, Kabak would be a ready-made replacement for Leipzig.
Meanwhile, Liverpool are also keeping tabs on Schalke's Kabak. With defensive mainstay Virgil van Dijk out for the season and Joe Gomez suffering his own knee injury on England duty in November, the defending Premier League champions look a little light at centre-back, despite Fabinho deputising impressively in recent weeks. Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is said to view the seven-time Turkish international as a potential long-term partner for Van Dijk and is considering a swap deal with out-of-favour striker Divock Origi (opens in new tab) to grease the wheels of the transfer.
Kabak is believed to be available for £25million – his value halving as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic – and is a cheaper and younger alternative to Upamecano.
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