"No chance" of Liverpool star staying at Anfield despite pressing need for new defenders
This seems a little risky...
On-loan Schalke star Ozan Kabak has “no chance” of staying permanently at Liverpool, according to renowned transfer guru Fabrizio Romano.
The Sky Sports journalist made a double transfer announcement confirming that Jurgen Klopp’s men were looking close to biting the bullet with long-admired target Ibrahima Konate’s release clause, which apparently means bad news for the Bundesliga loanee.
Fabrizio Romano @FabrizioRomanoIbrahima Konaté to Liverpool, done deal. Medicals already completed days ago. #LFC are gonna trigger €35m release clause in the next days and announce the signing from RB Leipzig. Here we go confirmed. 🔴 #LFC Personal terms agreed since April 23 - contract until June 2026. https://t.co/j4codIsBnD
With the Turkey international set to return to his parent club and Konate all but guaranteed to be filing out in the famous red next season, our available options for the heart of our backline next term will likely include Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Ibrahima Konate, and Nathaniel Phillips.
Under normal circumstances, having five centre-halves to choose between would certainly seem more than enough, even for a club competing for domestic and European honours.
Having witnessed our hopes of retaining the Premier League title be obliterated by a relentless onslaught of injuries, however, caution has become the name of the game.
There were extenuating circumstances to consider beyond plain and simple bad luck, of course, from the cramped pre-season to an even more compact fixture schedule that tested even the deepest of squads.
Nonetheless, the fact remains that Liverpool will go into their next campaign with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez effectively still in the latter stages of - if not having recently mounted a full - recovery, which may force Klopp to rely in part on his backup options initially.
The reluctance then to hold on to Ozan Kabak for £18m seems something of a risk and an even more bold one to take considering how our injury struggles have effectively defined our recently completed season.
Even more baffling is our reported desire, according to James Pearce, to hold on to winter signing Ben Davies who effectively ghosted the second-half of the year.
If it comes down to purely financial reasons then… fair enough, we guess? But to plan for the future with Davies, who couldn’t beat the likes of Rhys Williams and Nathaniel Phillips into the first team, seems a little bit strange, to put it mildly.
With Champions League qualification having been cemented, one would have thought £18m wouldn’t have been a significant stumbling block to a potential transfer - particularly given that it seems our summer window plans wouldn’t have changed without entry into Europe’s premier competition, as explained by the former Dortmund boss.
It’s possible that Klopp didn’t feel the player made a good enough impression on Merseyside, of course, but then we must inquire as to how on earth Ben Davies has?
We’d love nothing more than to see the former Preston North End centre-half thrive at L4 in the long run, though it’s not a call that immediately makes a great deal of sense.