Liverpool Chasing Real Betis' Aïssa Mandi as Unconvincing Joël Matip Exit Rumours Emerge

Tom Gott
Mandi has been listed as a Liverpool target
Mandi has been listed as a Liverpool target / Fran Santiago/Getty Images

There's a whole lot of talk doing the rounds about changes Liverpool could make to their defence this summer, following Dejan Lovren's departure to Zenit Saint Petersburg.

Jürgen Klopp is understood to want a replacement, even though the Croatian managed just 15 appearances in all competitions. Instead, Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez were Liverpool's go-to pairing, meaning any replacement will likely be for a reserve option who is happy to spend time on the bench.

Lovren's exit has opened up a space in the squad
Lovren's exit has opened up a space in the squad / TF-Images/Getty Images

We've had thoroughly unconvincing links to Sevilla's Diego Carlos and even more outlandish stories of blockbuster bids for Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly, but one story which might make sense is a move for Real Betis' Aïssa Mandi.

Links to the 28-year-old first emerged from COPE, who state that Liverpool are looking to close a £9m deal for Mandi - a bid that Betis would likely be ready to accept as his contract is up next summer.

Here's where things get a little weird.

There's a report floating around, credited to the Mirror, saying that Liverpool have been told to up their bid for Mandi by £1.8m. However, the Mirror have refused to claim ownership of the story and have instead attributed it to a secondary report - despite actually writing it as their own information in their Sunday newspaper.

Mandi could be sold this summer
Mandi could be sold this summer / DeFodi Images/Getty Images

So while that idea probably isn't true, a move for Mandi could well have some legs to it. One to keep an eye on.

On the topic of weird rumours, various outlets in Cameroon have picked up on a story suggesting that Paris Saint-Germain have identified Joël Matip as their preferred replacement for Thiago Silva.

It all seems to come from a Twitter user by the name of Jordan M, who states that PSG have contacted both Matip's entourage and fellow Cameroonian Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting to find out whether a deal is worth pursuing.

PSG are supposedly keen on Matip
PSG are supposedly keen on Matip / Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

This story is later backed up by another outlet in Cameroon, Kick442, who claim to have been informed of PSG's desire to make Matip their defensive anchor next summer.

As you can see, there really isn't much to this one. It's hard to imagine Liverpool selling Matip, given he only signed a new contract back in October, and is expected to be a starter once he overcomes his injury struggles.

That's if he can once again oust Gomez to become Van Dijk's regular starting partner, of course.

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