Real Madrid have been linked with Liverpool defender Joe Gomez as part of their wider pursuit of a new centre-back ahead of the 2022 summer transfer window.
Gomez has played only sparingly this season since recovering a long-term ACL injury and has found himself stuck behind Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate in the battle to partner Virgil van Dijk.
Real, meanwhile, have ended up short in the centre of defence after losing both Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane at the end of last season, with Jesus Vallejo brought back this season from 18 months on loan at Granada as the squad’s fourth centre-back.
Los Blancos are expected to try to sign a new centre-back ahead of next season and it appears that Gomez is one of a handful of options under consideration in the Spanish capital.
The Daily Mail writes that while an approach for Kylian Mbappe remains the priority, Gomez is being monitored on a defensive shortlist alongside Jules Kounde, Pau Torres and Antonio Rudiger. Matthijs de Ligt could also be available after agent Mino Raiola confirmed he is ready to leave Juventus.
Gomez was widely hailed as one of the best emerging defensive talents in Europe when he partnered Van Dijk at the base of Liverpool’s 2019/20 Premier League title winning side. But his career has stalled since his injury and subsequent struggle to re-establish himself.
Gomez has made his feelings known to Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp, just as he did in 2019 before going on to become an important member of the team. He is not actively looking to leave Anfield in the near future but will weigh up his position in early 2022 and could ask for a transfer if his prospects still show no signs of improving.
Speaking last week, Klopp confirmed there are no plans to let anyone leave Liverpool in January, although when asked in October about Gomez’s situation he expressed sympathy for the player.
“It is not easy. That is clear. But it was always clear that in our situation we had to bring in a defender, we all agreed,” the Liverpool boss explained at the time.
“Joey hasn't played much, that's how it is, he had a long-term injury. We have to deal with him with the intensity and now we're not even halfway through the season and we are talking about these things,” the Liverpool boss continued.
“Hopefully no injuries but that's a footballer's life. You have to be on top of your game for the moment you come in. The only thing you can do is keep working really hard.”