Liverpool in Contact with Schalke Over Defender Ozan Kabak

Ozan Kabak
Liverpool have made contact with Schalke over defender Kabak | DeFodi Images/Getty Images

Exclusive - Liverpool have contacted Schalke about defender Ozan Kabak, as they look to reinforce their backline ahead of their 2020/21 Premier League title defence.

The Reds won their first top flight title for 30 years during the 2019/20 campaign, but will go about retaining their crown with a shortage of central defensive options after Dejan Lovren departed the club for Zenit St Petersburg.

Sport-Club Freiburg v FC Schalke 04 - Bundesliga
Kabak could offer Jurgen Klopp another defensive option next season | Pool/Getty Images

Due to the financial constraints triggered by the coronavirus, Liverpool's business is likely to be limited this summer. The Reds opted not to make a move for RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner, and Jurgen Klopp has said that he will look to improve his squad from within, instead of spending big on new recruits in the transfer window.

However, 90min understands that Liverpool have held talks with Schalke about Turkish defender Kabak. The Bundesliga outfit are struggling financially and are prepared to sell some of their prized assets in the summer – one of which is Kabak.

Schalke boss David Wagner is close with Jurgen Klopp and tipped him off about the 20-year-old last year, and sources close to Schalke have confirmed to 90min that there has been contact with Liverpool.

Ozan Kabak
Kabak has a wealth of experience, despite being just 20 years old | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

The Turkish international progressed through the youth system at Galatasaray, and made his debut for his boyhood club just a few weeks after turning 18.

He moved to Stuttgart in January 2019, before Schalke triggered his £15m release clause just five months later.

Kabak is a centre half by trade, but can play anywhere across the backline. He is one of a number of options Liverpool are considering, alongside Lille’s Gabriel, Aston Villa’s Tyrone Mings and Nathan Ake of Bournemouth - who is closing in on a move to Manchester City.

However, whether the Reds will be able to make a firm offer for the Schalke defender remains to be seen, as they are unlikely to pay his current clause of £40m.