Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been drawing up a shortlist of centre backs following the unexpected injury to Joe Gomez. Importantly, the man at the top of the list is RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano.
The injury to Gomez sees the Reds without both centre-halves that helped guide them to the title last season. The pair now face the challenge of trying to play again this season.
Those injuries have forced Klopp’s hand into looking for recruits in the next window. According to The Athletic, the 22-year old centre back is at the top of the German’s wish list.
They report that Liverpool were already set to make a move at the end of this current season. However, with the injury crises at Anfield at the moment, the Red’s plan to move earlier. The Frenchman’s current contract has a release clause of around £40 million at the end of the season.
However, could the Reds pull off a similar deal as the one that brought midfielder Naby Keita to the club from RB Leipzig? That deal saw Liverpool agreeing to pay his release clause a year early with a premium to secure the move.
So could the Reds pay a little higher than the current £40 million release clause to make the move happen in January?
The big question following any deal would be, what happens to the partnership between van Dijk and Gomez?
It goes without saying that van Dijk is the automatic starter between the three centre backs. That would leave a shoot out between Gomez and Upamecano for that final starting position.
If Upamecano can help guide Liverpool to back to back titles, that may just be enough to see him start ahead of Gomez. However, Gomez’s ability to also play at right-back would help the Englishman still see enough minutes on the pitch.