Liverpool 'Open Negotiations' With Schalke for £20m-Rated Ozan Kabak

Oct 25, 2020, 10:45 AM GMT
Ozan Kabak
Kabak has been capped four times for Turkey | DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Liverpool are understood to have opened talks with Schalke over a possible move for Ozan Kabak, as the Reds seek defensive cover for long-term injury absentee, Virgil van Dijk.

Van Dijk may not be able to take part in the rest of this season after a challenge from Jordan Pickford damaged his anterior cruciate ligament during the Merseyside derby.

Kabak may help Liverpool mitigate the impact of Van Dijk's injury
Kabak may help Liverpool mitigate the impact of Van Dijk's injury | DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Liverpool have so far hit on a number of ways to cope without their central defensive talisman, with Joël Matip deputizing for the towering Dutchman, and Fabinho even moving from midfield to occupy a central defensive role.

But the Reds now look to be eyeing up a long-term solution to Van Dijk's injury, with the Daily Mirror reporting that they are discussing the January transfer of Schalke's young Turkish international Kabak.

The 20-year-old, who has been at Schalke since 2019, is said to be admired by Jürgen Klopp, and it's noted that Liverpool already had an interest in Kabak during the transfer window - prior to Van Dijk's injury. However, the Reds were prevented from making a bid owing to a more restrictive transfer budget, caused by the global coronavirus pandemic.

Ozan Kabak
The centre-back was previously at Stuttgart | DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Those same financial implications may yet open the door for Liverpool to snare the youngster, who came through Galatasaray's youth system before moving to Stuttgart and then Schalke within the space of six months, at a cut price.

While Schalke originally valued Kabak at £40m, there is hope that Schalke's increased need to balance their own books could now see a deal done for an initial £20m. The two parties may find common ground by meeting in the middle, but it's likely that Liverpool will have to stump up a substantial fee up front.

Despite previous claims that Liverpool wouldn't spend big in the transfer market, they ultimately opted to bring in Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota over the summer - for a combined price of £70m.