Liverpool FC confirm signing of centre-back Ozan Kabak

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Liverpool have signed Turkish centre-back Ozan Kabak from Schalke, with the 20-year-old joining on an initial loan with a view to a permanent switch to Anfield this summer.

A late scurry for centre-back signings on Merseyside saw the Reds cycle through a number of targets, with approaches for the likes of Duje Caleta-Car, Edmond Tapsoba and David Carmo reported.

But sights were eventually focused on Kabak, who at 20 has already played 57 times in the Bundesliga, 14 in the Turkish Super Lig and seven for the Turkey national team.

Liverpool moved swiftly to agree a deal with Schalke, who sit bottom of the German top flight and are in need of a financial boost, with the young defender joining on loan with a purchase option in place for the next transfer window.

The Reds will pay Schalke £1 million up front, with a further £500,000 in potential add-ons, and have negotiated an £18 million fee if Kabak joins Jurgen Klopp‘s side on a permanent basis.

Kabak, who will wear the No. 19 shirt, has yet to arrive on Merseyside, but will do so on Tuesday and will then be unveiled as a Liverpool player.

Ozan Kabak of FC Schalke 04 reacts during the 1. Bundesliga match between VfL Wolfsburg and FC Schalke 04 at the Volkswagen Arena on December 18, 2019 in Wolfsburg, Germany. (Photo by Peter Niedung/NurPhoto)

Capable of playing as both the right and left-sided centre-back, and as a defensive midfielder, Kabak joins Ben Davies as a new recruit at Liverpool, who oversaw a late recruitment drive due to a number of injuries.

It seems unlikely that either Kabak or Davies will be thrown in at the deep end with a debut as soon as Wednesday night against Brighton, but the situation may dictate a start for at least one.

Joel Matip and Fabinho have joined long-term absentees Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez on the injury list, and while Jordan Henderson has deputised to a high level, the captain would benefit from moving back into the midfield.

Welcome, Ozan!

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