Liverpool are in talks with Jonas Hector after agreeing a fee with FC Cologne for the Germany left-back.
We understand that the Reds have agreed a fee with the Bundesliga side this week and have therefore been given permission to speak to the 26-year-old, who is currently away with the national side preparing for the European Championships.
Hector was previously reported to be available for around £12 million. Cologne themselves seem to have been readying for his departure with the signing of left-back Filip Mladenovic in January.
“Cologne already reacted to Jonas’ potential transfer with the signing of Mladenovic,” said Hector’s agent back in March.
“Upon consultation with FC Cologne we are allowed to talk to interested clubs,” he added.
Liverpool are the frontrunners among those interested clubs, with talks now underway.
Hector made 32 league appearances for Cologne last season, contributing four assists. He did appear in midfield in a handful of those games – including the final four games of the season, with Mladenovic at left-back. He captained the side on their final home game of the season, against Werder Bremen.
Dubbed as ‘Mr Reliable’ by some German media, Hector won the Cologne fans’ player of the year in 2013/14 – rare for a full-back.
He scored his first goal for his country against Italy in March, and has 13 caps so far for Joachim Low’s side.
Hector is first choice left-back for the German national side and we scouted him against England earlier this year (read here).
We also understand Liverpool have had a bid for Schalke 04 winger Leroy Sane rejected and are considering whether to make a second bid for the 20-year-old.
UPDATE: Just for transparency, the Echo have since reported that Liverpool have no interest in Hector. Welcome to the wonderful world of transfer rumours.