Liverpool reject cut-price move for Ozan Kabak

Tom Gott
Liverpool have snubbed Kabak again
Liverpool have snubbed Kabak again / Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Liverpool have again turned down the chance to sign Schalke centre-back Ozan Kabak this summer.

Kabak moved to Anfield on loan in January to help Jurgen Klopp manage his defensive injury crisis, but despite impressing in most of his 13 appearances, Liverpool declined to trigger their £18m option to sign him permanently.

Ozan Kabak
Kabak spent six months on loan with Liverpool / Michael Regan/Getty Images

Instead, they chose to sign fellow Bundesliga starlet Ibrahima Konate, who arrived from RB Leipzig for around £35m before Euro 2020.

Liverpool's decision to pass up on Kabak came as a huge blow to Schalke, who are in serious financial peril and saw their situation worsen because of their relegation from the Bundesliga. They are desperate to offload the Turk, and according to The Athletic, they have given Liverpool the chance to sign Kabak for just £8.5m.

Surprisingly, Liverpool have turned that move down, leaving Leicester City as the favourites to bring Kabak back to the Premier League.

Liverpool have snubbed a second move for Kabak because they believe they are well stocked in the centre-back department now. First-choice pairing Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are both close to returning from injuries, and the same goes for primary deputy Joel Matip, who has been linked with an exit but now seems likely to stay.

It's noted that Liverpool's decision was also helped by the fact Klopp can call upon reserves like Nat Phillips and Ben Davies, but that seems somewhat strange because of the club's refusal to commit to either.

Phillips enjoyed a successful spell in the team last season but has since been made available for transfer. The 24-year-old has entered the final two years of his contract and is reluctant to return to the bench after proving his quality, with Burnley and Brighton among the sides keen to offer him a new start.

Nathaniel Phillips
Phillips could be on his way out / Visionhaus/Getty Images

Should Phillips leave as expected, that would leave Ben Davies as the only senior cover, and that doesn't seem ideal to Klopp as the 25-year-old January signing is yet to make his debut for the Reds and only made the matchday squad four times before the season ended, with academy product Rhys Williams often preferred.

Nevertheless, it seems Klopp is satisfied with the options at his disposal. Kabak may well return to Anfield, but he could be wearing a Leicester shirt when he does.