Liverpool and Schalke are widely reported to have agreed a loan-to-buy deal for Turkish centre-back Ozan Kabak, concluding a frantic late pursuit of a host of options.
The Reds have spent the final days of the transfer window making enquiries about a number of centre-backs, including Torino’s Gleison Bremer, Marseille’s Duje Caleta-Car and Braga’s David Carmo.
But their search eventually landed on Kabak, whose departure from Schalke was contingent on the ailing Bundesliga club signing a replacement.
Shkrodan Mustafi, another player touted with a move to Anfield, is set to terminate his deal with Arsenal to return to Germany, paving the way for Kabak to join Liverpool.
The 20-year-old underwent medical checks in Gelsenkirchen earlier on Monday, and approaching the German transfer deadline it has been widely reported that a deal has now been agreed with Schalke.
According to multiple reporters, Liverpool have negotiated an initial half-season loan, paying up to £1.5 million for this part of the deal, with a further fee of £18 million securing Kabak’s permanent signing in the summer.
Crucially, the Reds have an option to buy, not an obligation, which allows Jurgen Klopp to assess the player before sanctioning his addition on a long-term basis.
Kabak will not be required to be registered as a non-homegrown player within Klopp’s Premier League squad, as he is under the age of 21, which allows Virgil van Dijk to be included.
The youngster is set to come in as an immediate option at centre-back, boosting Liverpool’s options following injuries to Van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and Fabinho.
He won’t be the only centre-back to join the Reds on deadline day, with Ben Davies also due to arrive from Preston in a deal worth up to £1.6 million.