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Reports: Liverpool intent on signing £62.8m defender Kalidou Koulibaly in January

Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool Kalidou Koulibaly of SSC Napoli ( L ) wins a tackle over Rodrigo Palacio
Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool Kalidou Koulibaly of SSC Napoli ( L ) wins a tackle over Rodrigo Palacio
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 18 Nov 2020, 23:45 IST
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According to PaisleyGates, Liverpool are targeting the signing of Napoli central defender Kalidou Koulibaly in January. Jurgen Klopp's side have had to deal with multiple injuries this season, with first-choice central defenders Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez out of action for the forseeable future. 

Joel Matip will be the only first-team central defender available for selection when the Premier League returns following the international break. Academy products Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams, though, have impressed when called upon. 

Liverpool need to find replacements in defence

By the time Liverpool host Leicester City in the Premier League next Monday, Klopp could be without his first-choice backline.

Right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold picked up an injury in the game against Manchester City and had to withdraw from international duty. Scotland captain and left-back Andrew Robertson picked up a hamstring injury in the game against Serbia.

However, there might be some respite with defensive-midfielder Fabinho expected to return after a period out with hamstring injury. The Brazilian has previously deputised in central defence for the Reds. 

Nathaniel Phillips was impressive in the team's win against West Ham, earning plaudits from his manager. Klopp, after the win, said:

"He’s a brilliant guy, a smart guy, intelligent and everything. In the air, he’s a monster. He loves heading challenges on the pitch and he was incredible."

Liverpool have also been linked with other targets including Olympiakos defender Ruben Semedo and RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano. Former player Jamie Carragher believes Liverpool should sign the Frenchman from the Bundesliga side.

"There is a young man everyone is talking about at Leipzig, Dayot Upamecano. Whether he has the profile of van Dijk, I think he is only 6’1″ or 6’2″, so he is maybe not that aerial. But if he is the one they wanted, then bring it forward. Pay the extra money and do it in January," said Carragher on Sky Sports.
Published 17 Nov 2020, 17:37 IST
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