RB Leipzig's Dayot Upamecano is 'at the top' of Liverpool's shortlist, as the January transfer window approaches.
Liverpool have been hard hit by defensive injury problems in 2020/21 to say the least, with both Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez undergoing surgery on knee injuries. The former is expected to miss the majority, if not all, of the remainder of the season, while the latter is still being assessed.
Meanwhile, Fabinho has missed the last three games with injury and Trent Alexander-Arnold is likely out of action until December.
Things have got so bad that surprise talk of an (unlikely) emergency move for free agent Daryl Janmaat popped up on Thursday.
Though young stars Rhys Williams - who was playing sixth-tier football just a year ago - and Nathaniel Phillips have impressed when called upon, there is increasing speculation that the Reds could dip into the transfer market to add numbers to their backline in six weeks' time when the window re-opens.
Links to Schalke's Ozan Kabak have resurfaced since the summer, while there have also been rumours of interest in Ajax's 20-year-old Perr Schurrs.
The Athletic reports, however, that Dayot Upamecano is top of Liverpool's 'wanted list' with the club planning to enter the market next summer.
Whether that move will be expedited to January is not made clear. However, 22-year-old Upamecano - often rated as one of the most promising defenders in Europe - reportedly has a clause in his contract that will allow him to leave for €42m (£38.25m) in 2021.
The likes of Arsenal, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester United have all also been named as suitors for the France international recently.
Liverpool do have excellent relations with the Red Bull group and have done deals for Takumi Minamino and Naby Keita in recent years.
In the case of the former, it is believed that Liverpool's superior relationship with Red Bull led them to completing a bargain £7.25m deal for the player, taking advantage of a release clause that many other suitors were unaware of.
Besides number one target Upamecano, The Athletic claim that Kabak, Ben White and Bremer of Torino are all under consideration.
Meanwhile, 90min understands that David Alaba - who is set to leave Bayern Munich by next summer at the latest - would consider a move to the Premier League, and the Reds are among those interested.