Having managed to take a positive result from the first leg of their Champions League qualifier over Hoffenheim, Liverpool are now one step closer to the main, elite, European tournament but Jurgen Klopp will know that his side still needs to strengthen up if they are to compete at the highest level. There are a few issues currently in the squad, but none more impending than the lack of a secure centre back.
The likes of Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan are not good enough to take Liverpool to a league title and this has seen them scout extensively for some of the finest defenders in Europe. However, their top transfer target for this position, Virgil van Dijk, has eluded them as Southampton are adamant not to sell him to the Anfield outfit.
The Dutch international has handed in a transfer request but a ‘tapping-up’ allegation on Liverpool might see the refrain from making a move. But they are sure to buy a centre back before the deadline day and here are three defenders they should certainly look at, this summer:
Aymeric Laporte (Athletic Bilbao)
One of the most consistent defenders in La Liga at the moment, Laporte has been in exceptional form Spanish outfit Bilbao and has previously been linked with a move to England. He is a first team star in Spain but with Bilbao losing their head coach to Barcelona, this might be a good time for Liverpool to try and lure him to England. A strong and dynamic defender, the French star is tailor-made for the English game and could walk into the first team to partner Joel Matip at the back this season.
Kostas Manolas (AS Roma)
The Greek international was subject to a number of transfer stories linking him with a move to the Premier League at the start of the summer. Though Italian side AS Roma has been able to reject all advances and keep him at the club, Liverpool’s desperate attempts to sign a centre back might see them move back in for the 26-year old. He is an established centre half and is a genuine upgrade on all options Liverpool has to offer at the moment. Surely, he is a decent alternative to Virgil van Dijk this summer.
Jonathan Tah (Bayer Leverkusen)
Probably the best option for Liverpool in this list, and also the easiest is Bayer Leverkusen star Jonathan Tah. He was a transfer target for the Reds earlier in the window but Klopp decided not to spend on him. However, with time running out, the German defender might be back on the radar for the English club this summer. At just 21, he is still new to the game but is a beast of a defender who loves to dominate his box and is a perfect fit for Liverpool. He will love to work with a manager like Klopp who should not have too much trouble in luring him to Anfield.