With Cologne left-back Jonas Hector linked with a move to Liverpool this summer, the German has admitted a switch to Merseyside would interest him.
Hector was rumoured to be the subject of Liverpool’s interest ahead of the 2016/17 campaign, with reports in Germany suggesting Jurgen Klopp was targeting a double swoop for the 25-year-old and his Cologne team-mate, goalkeeper Timo Horn.
This would see Klopp address his thin left-back ranks, with Alberto Moreno only established, natural option in the role.
Both Jon Flanagan and Nathaniel Clyne are able to deputise on the left flank, while Brad Smith has emerged as a reliable backup since the turn of the year, but a summer addition would be welcome.
Hector is currently on international duty with Germany, and speaking to Eurosport this week, suggested he could be keen on a move to Merseyside ahead of 2016/17—if Klopp made his interest known.
“You always have to consider whether you are ready to take the next step,” he said.
“At the moment I am not thinking about it. I think what we have to do at FC Koln is enough.
“I also have a big tournament ahead of me with the national team.”
Asked whether contact with Klopp could persuade him to switch Cologne for Liverpool, he said “then I would start to think about it.”
Klopp’s influence has already proved a deciding factor in Liverpool’s transfer business this season.
Marko Grujic acknowledged Klopp as a factor in deciding to move to Merseyside, with the Serbian midfielder set to join up with the Liverpool squad this summer, after finishing the season on loan with Red Star Belgrade.
“When a coach like that calls you on the phone personally, that’s the greatest privilege,” he explained in February.
“That call really cemented my desire to join Liverpool.
“He is famous as someone who likes to work with young players. He has made Subotic, Lewandowski, Kagawa.”
Cementing his reputation as one of the best managers in Europe over seven seasons with Borussia Dortmund, Klopp’s sway could prove decisive as Liverpool build for success in the future.
Hector would boost Klopp’s defensive ranks considerably, as a physical, defensive-minded full-back with strong delivery from the left flank.
Believed to be available for around £7.5 million, Hector would be a shrewd acquisition for the Reds, and having admitted his interest in joining, the onus is now on Klopp to make the move.