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.
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.
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.