Liverpool are keen on signing centre-back Ozan Kabak, who currently plays for German side Schalke. The 20-year-old Turkish defender moved to Schalke from Stuttgart last season for a fee of around €15 million. Ozan Kabak is a Turkish international who is seen as one of the most exciting young players in the Bundesliga currently.
As per Calcio Mercato (via Inside Futbol), AC Milan have now joined the race to sign Kabak in the January transfer window. The report says that the German side would be willing to let go of their prized asset for a fee of around €25 million. Kabak’s current contract with Schalke expires in 2024, with the player having signed a five-year deal when he joined the club last year.
Ozan Kabak made his international debut last season and has so far played 4 times for the Turkish national side.
Ozan Kabak: Why the Reds must make their move in January
Liverpool’s title defence faced a big jolt last month in the Merseyside derby when Virgil van Dijk suffered an injury in a clash with Everton keeper Jordan Pickford. The Dutch international will miss the rest of the season due to an ACL injury, which has put pressure on the Liverpool defence.
Fabinho has filled in the gap at the back when called upon to do the role, but the Brazilian’s natural position is in defensive midfield, and the Reds need him in that part of the pitch, especially given the sterner tests ahead after the international break.
Joe Gomez has not been consistent for Liverpool and it remains to see how he will do without van Dijk beside him, while Joel Matip has struggled with injuries.
This is why manager Jurgen Klopp should sign a centre-back in the January transfer window and a defender like Ozan Kabak could be a fine choice. The Turkish defender is commanding in the air and on the ground and makes crunching tackles to win the ball back for his team. Kabak is a player who has loads of strength and can put off attackers using his muscle and power. He is a player that could eventually lead a defence with some experience and maturity and will not solely be a stop-gap option.
With the desired initiation, Kabak could well replace Matip or Gomez in the current Liverpool starting XI and would add speed, strength and aerial prowess. The Turkish defender could be a good fit alongside van Dijk when the Dutchman returns from injury. With Liverpool set to have numerous games from now till the end of the season, they will need depth in key areas of the pitch, one of them being the centre-back position.