​Well, here's a rumour you didn't expect to read today.


No, your eyes do not deceive you; Liverpool are reported in Spain to be eyeing up a move for Atletico Madrid defender Jose Maria Gimenez. Take a minute to let that one sink in and we'll talk more. 


Done? Good, let's get cracking.


The story here comes from ​AS, who note that ​Liverpool are going to be in the market for a replacement for Dejan Lovren, who is expected to leave this summer. In itself that's not a wild suggestion; they have a well-established first-choice pairing of Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk with the towering and reliable Joel Matip in reserve, but added cover will likely be sought in the event of Lovren's departure. 

90min ​reported last month that a young central defender will be recruited to act as fourth choice. But while Gimenez does just about fit that vague mould at 25, it's...a bit of a reach. 


Firstly, this is not a guy who would accept a minor role within the squad. He's made 180 appearances over five years at ​Atleti, and if not for a desperate struggle with injuries then he'd be a bona fide first pick under Diego Simeone.


His wage demands would make him one of the Reds' highest earners, he has a €120m release clause on his deal that has two-and-a-half years remaining, and then there's the bad blood between the clubs to consider. Throw all that together and you get the picture of a highly unlikely Liverpool signing. 

Jose Gimenez,Nadiem Amiri

AS also note interest in coveted RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano and ​Inter's Alessandro Bastoni. Each of those seem like far more viable signings, although Upamecano too seems like a stretch given his burgeoning reputation and the stratospheric fee likely to be involved, with Arsenal and Bayern Munich also in the frame.


Bastoni? Well, now we're getting somewhere.  


The 20-year-old has enjoyed a breakthrough season at Inter this season, taking advantage of Diego Godin's fitness struggles to break into a back three that also features Milan Skriniar and Stefan de Vrij. 

Alessandro Bastoni

He's another that would require a fairly substantial outlay, and while he's still on the ambitious side to fill what would initially be a reserve role, he is far more under-the-radar than the other names here. As left-field defensive signings go, you could probably see this one. 


But let's just leave the Gimenez rumour here, yeah?