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)

Ozan Kabak loan-to-buy another deadline-day option for Liverpool

Liverpool could sign Schalke centre-back Ozan Kabak on an initial loan with an option to buy, with the 20-year-old Turkey international potentially arriving on deadline day.

The Reds are set to confirm the signing of Preston defender Ben Davies later today, but they are also hoping to bring in another centre-back before the 11pm deadline.

A number of players have been touted as options, with Marseille’s Duje Caleta-Car the most prominent, as despite initial talks breaking down the 24-year-old Croatian is still a possibility.

Arsenal‘s Shkrodan Mustafi, West Ham‘s Issa Diop, Real Madrid’s Eder Militao, Torino’s Gleison Bremer, Lille’s Sven Botman and free agent Neven Subotic have also been mentioned as options.

But Sky Germany’s Max Bielefeld is now reporting that Liverpool are “trying to get a deal done” with Schalke for Kabak, with the Press Association’s Carl Markham adding that he has “jumped to the front of the queue” in terms of the Reds’ targets.

Kabak is a 6’1″ defender who can play on either the right or left side of a centre-back pairing and also as a defensive midfielder, and at just 20 has already made seven appearances for Turkey.

Bielefeld claims that “talks [are] ongoing about a loan plus option to buy,” with the caveat that, as the Bundesliga side would require a replacement, a 5pm deadline in Germany means it could be “difficult to get it done.”

Sky Sports add that a medical is already booked for if the deal is agreed, with Liverpool looking to pay a £2.5 million loan fee, and that Schalke’s “replacement has been identified.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 24, 2021: Liverpool's substitute Divock Origi during the pre-match warm-up before the FA Cup 4th Round match between Manchester United FC and Liverpool FC at Old Trafford. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Kabak has been linked with a move to Anfield since last summer, with contact made with Schalke back in September, while a possible swap deal that would see Divock Origi head to Gelsenkirchen has also been mooted.

It could even be argued that another player on Liverpool’s radar, Malick Thiaw, could give Schalke a ready-made replacement, with the 19-year-old now a regular in the matchday squad this season.

In November, it was claimed that Kabak could be available for just £17.6 million, despite a £39.7 million release clause kicking in this summer.

This Is Anfield’s Bundesliga expert Chris Williams has described the situation on deadline day as a “race against time for Liverpool and Kabak,” but adds that with Schalke “already planning for life in 2.Bundesliga” a sale would “guarantee income.”