Liverpool’s search for a new central defender has reportedly led them to a Serie A footballer who has been likened to Nemanja Vidic.
According to HITC, the Reds are interested in Napoli defender Nikola Maksimovic and have already enquired about the player's availability with the Serie A side. Jurgen Klopp is contemplating defensive reinforcements in January as Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez remain long term absentees due to injuries.
The German manager has not faced a crisis like this since he arrived at Anfield in 2015. Liverpool’s defensive woes have seen them turn to Maksimovic even though the 29-year-old represents a short-term investment.
The Serbian has been a regular at the Stadio San Paolo since arriving in the summer of 2016. Given his form, Liverpool’s interest in the Serbian should not come as a total surprise. Maksimovic has even been likened to his fellow countryman and Manchester United legend Nemanja Vidic in his homeland.
The former Red Devils skipper was an absolute beast on the pitch and being compared to him certainly paints a glowing picture of Maksimovic. The Napoli footballer was a target for both West Ham United and Fulham in the past, but a move to the Premier League never materialized.
According to Kaveh Solhekol of Sky Sports, Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis recently revealed Liverpool’s interest in the Serbian defender to presenter Jim White.
Liverpool have used 14 different defensive combinations so far this season
Liverpool were earlier interested in Maksimovic’s teammate Kalidou Koulibaly, widely regarded as one of the finest defenders in the world right now. However, the Senegalese’s price tag has been a deterrent and pushed the Reds towards signing the Serbian instead.
Jurgen Klopp continues to worry about the team's centre-back pairing, having played even skipper Jordan Henderson at the back in recent weeks. The German has used 14 different defensive combinations at Liverpool this season and is in dire need of reinforcements this month.
With less than three weeks of the window left and Manchester United already going three points clear at the top of the table, Liverpool might be tempted to make a bid for Maksimovic soon.Published 13 Jan 2021, 20:52 IST