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Ozan Kabak now touted for free transfer – but Liverpool still won’t sign him

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Over two months after Liverpool informed Ozan Kabak they were declining their purchase option with Schalke, the centre-back is still yet to find a new club.

Throughout his half-season loan spell, Kabak was a useful player for Jurgen Klopp, which led to expectations that he would be brought in for the agreed £18 million.

However, Liverpool were never obliged to sign the Turk on a permanent basis, which made their deal with Schalke a remarkable one given the Bundesliga club stood to lose out in the wider landscape.

It was mid-May when the Reds told Kabak that they would not be bringing him in beyond the end of his loan, with Ibrahima Konate brought in from RB Leipzig for £36 million instead.

That has left Schalke and their No. 19 seeking an alternative, with there seeming to be no scenario in which he stays in Gelsenkirchen for the new campaign – which began with a 3-1 loss to Hamburg in the German second tier.

According to SPORT1, Times and BBC Sport journalist Constantin Eckner, Schalke could even be willing to terminate Kabak’s contract to avoid paying his wages.

This would allow Kabak to find a new club on a free transfer, but there is still no chance he makes the move to Anfield.

“Clubs are interested but then they find someone else who is more compelling and Kabak is still outside on the street in the rain,” Eckner told the Liverpool Echo.

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - Sunday, February 28, 2021: Liverpool's Ozan Kabak and goalkeeper Adrián San Miguel del Castillo look to the assistant referee after an own-goal, it was disallowed for off-side, during the FA Premier League match between Sheffield United FC and Liverpool FC at Bramall Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Interest from Leicester and Crystal Palace is referenced, with no move forthcoming, with Eckner detailing the situation that could see Kabak released from his contract early.

“Schalke might even terminate his contract before the end of August so he has time to find a new club,” he added.

“But it’s really weird to have someone like him on the market and begging for a club. It’s not like he’s trying to join Real Madrid or something!”

Given his experience in the Premier League, Bundesliga, Turkish Super Lig and the Champions League, all at 21, Kabak should be an attractive prospect for a number of clubs across Europe.

Liverpool have moved on, however, regardless of the fee they would be required to spend if they were to bring in the centre-back – as with Konate joining Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and others, there is no room in the squad.

This update does highlight, though, how savvy Michael Edwards was in agreeing the deal with Schalke in the first place, as it was effectively a win-win scenario for Liverpool.


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