Liverpool are expected to sign Preston centre-back Ben Davies in a deal worth around £2 million, as Jurgen Klopp bolsters his defensive ranks for the short term.
Injuries to all four of Klopp’s senior options at the back have led to a late scramble for a signing, with a number of players linked including West Ham‘s Issa Diop and Arsenal‘s Shkodran Mustafi.
The task of signing a competitive centre-back, in the final days of the transfer window, in a global pandemic, with selling clubs aware of their desperation, proved increasingly difficult.
But Liverpool appear to have settled on Davies, who was set to sign for Celtic before the Reds made their move this weekend.
The 25-year-old is believed to be close to a £2 million switch to Anfield, with the Mail‘s Dominic King reporting that the deal “looks increasingly set” to be completed before 11pm on Monday.
It is a surprising deal, but one that provides vital cover in Klopp’s side and, perhaps crucially, will not require a non-homegrown slot in the Premier League squad.
This should allow Virgil van Dijk to be registered for the second half of the campaign, with there being hope that the Dutchman could return to fitness in the final weeks.
Davies, who has made 129 appearances in the Championship and 98 further down in the Football League, is unlikely to take up a regular starting role at Liverpool, but gives the manager another option.
Jordan Henderson, Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams are likely to be rotated along with Davies as the likes of Joel Matip and Fabinho work their way back to fitness.
The deal is set to see Sepp van den Berg head the other way on a half-season loan, providing the Dutchman valuable experience in the Championship.
UPDATE: A fee has now been agreed for the player.