NORWICH, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 21, 2021: Liverpool's captain Joe Gomez during the Football League Cup 3rd Round match between Norwich City FC and Liverpool FC at Carrow Road. Liverpool won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Real Madrid emerge with surprise interest in Joe Gomez transfer

With Joe Gomez currently fourth in the centre-back pecking order at Liverpool, Spanish giants Real Madrid have emerged as a surprise suitor for the 24-year-old.

It has been a sad decline for Gomez over the past year, with a serious knee injury keeping him out for eight months and seeing him lose his place as Virgil van Dijk‘s first-choice partner.

Now, he finds himself behind Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate, with a calf problem limiting his game time further this term, having started only three of nine appearances.

It had been suggested that Gomez could leave Liverpool, at least on a temporary basis, in the January transfer window, but Jurgen Klopp has put paid to that.

“We are patient, and I think Joe is patient now as well. That’s the situation,” he said.

“I have no plans to give anybody on loan in the winter.”

However, BBC Sport have followed up reports from the Mail to claim that Real Madrid are now “monitoring” Gomez as they seek to add to their centre-back ranks.

Antonio Rudiger, Jules Kounde, Pau Torres and Matthijs de Ligt are mentioned as other options, but it is interesting that Liverpool’s No. 12 has made their list.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 21, 2021: Liverpool's Joe Gomez (R) and Virgil van Dijk during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Burnley FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

There would be little surprise if Gomez was considering his options, having not only lost his place for club but also for country, though as Klopp notes, he should be realistic following his injury problems.

It is possible that he could recapture his form and develop a long-term partnership with Konate, who is two years younger than him at 22.

But with Van Dijk having signed a new four-year contract with Liverpool in August – tying him to the club until he is 34 – there is a clear belief within the club that the Dutchman can stay as a first-choice starter for years to come.

Whether Real could tempt the Reds to sell is another matter, and a January deal is out of the question entirely, with Nat Phillips instead up for sale at £15 million.

Gomez has three-and-a-half years remaining on his deal at Anfield, which puts the club in a strong position if the likes of Real look to open talks over a move in the summer.

If he did make the switch to Madrid, he would become the first player to join Real from Liverpool since Xabi Alonso in 2009.