Liverpool have turned down the chance to sign Ozan Kabak for just £8.5 million, with Schalke desperately trying to offload the defender to raise valuable funds.
The 21-year-old was one of the men Jurgen Klopp turned to during the Reds’ centre-back crisis, with the January deadline day arrival going on to play 13 times before an injury of his own.
The loan deal came with the opportunity to trigger an £18 million permanent deal in the summer, but Liverpool opted against it and instead landed Ibrahima Konate for £36 million.
It leaves Liverpool with a healthy centre-back contingent once more with Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez on the comeback trail, but Schalke and Kabak in desperate territory.
The German club, who were relegated last season, are cash-strapped and are in need of finding savings after their already struggling finances were further hit by the pandemic.
And with Kabak seemingly yet to draw suitors to the table who are ready to make a deal, Liverpool were offered the chance to sign Kabak for just £8.5 million.
That is according to members of the Merseyside press, including Goal‘s Neil Jones and the Athletic‘s James Pearce, but Liverpool turned down the offer.
At first glimpse, it’s a bemusing call as it’s nearly half the price of the initial fee the Reds were quoted when they agreed to the loan deal for a 21-year-old with plenty of potential.
It would act as a classic Moneyball transfer, as Liverpool would undoubtedly be able to recoup the fee and then some in a future window while either initially keeping hold of him as a squad player or finding another temporary home on loan.
But, it is an investment Liverpool would have to make in an area of the field they are now well-stocked in, not to mention a homegrown quota conundrum that is already finely balanced.
Schalke’s desperation has not brought Liverpool to the table but Leicester and Newcastle have been linked with Kabak in recent weeks.