Jurgen Klopp is reportedly looking to add an experienced defender to his side this week, with Borussia Dortmund’s Neven Subotic in his sights.
Subotic has been linked with a move to Merseyside ever since Klopp took over at the beginning of October, but following an injury crisis among the German’s defensive line, his interest is said to have intensified.
According to David Maddock of the Mirror, Klopp has identified signing an experienced defender on loan as a priority this January.
Maddock claims that Klopp “is talking to former club Dortmund” in an attempt to agree a short-term deal for the Serbian,
Subotic has made just two appearances in the Bundesliga in 2015/16, with Thomas Tuchel preferring Mats Hummels and Sokratis Papastathopoulos as his first-choice centre-back pairing.
Even natural defensive midfielder Sven Bender has made more appearances than Subotic at the heart of Dortmund’s defence this term.
This leaves the 27-year-old at a loose end, and a move to Liverpool would suit all parties.
With Martin Skrtel, Joe Gomez, Dejan Lovren and Mamadou Sakho all injured, Klopp has only Kolo Toure fit among his senior centre-backs, and Subotic’s experience and top-level pedigree would be a welcome addition.
A loan would benefit Liverpool, too, as it is debatable as to whether Subotic would be a long-term solution for Klopp, owing to his lengthy injury history.
Maddock also suggests that Liverpool have entered talks with Inter Milan to loan Italy international Andrea Ranocchia, as well as negotiating with Schalke to sign Joel Matip six months before originally planned.
Adding experience to his defence will be invaluable to Klopp, though ensuring a reasonable level of quality is paramount.
A move for AC Milan’s Philippe Mexes, for example, would be attractive, with the Frenchman having fallen out of favour at the San Siro with six months left on his contract.
Liverpool head into Friday night’s FA Cup Third Round clash with Exeter City with Toure likely to be partnered by either Lucas Leiva or Daniel Cleary at centre-back.
This must not be a long-term arrangement for Klopp, and the 48-year-old seems to have acknowledged this.