2RXB7TB Dortmund, Deutschland. 23rd Sep, 2023. 23.09.2023, Fussball, Saison 2023/2024, 1. Bundesliga, 5. Spieltag, Borussia Dortmund - VfL Wolfsburg, Maxence Lacroix (VfL Wolfsburg), Foto: Dennis Ewert/RHR-FOTO/dpa/Alamy Live News

Liverpool ‘interested’ in 2 centre-backs – including Frenchman available for £25m

With Joel Matip out for the rest of the season and Liverpool planning ahead, two centre-back targets have now emerged, including Wolfsburg’s Maxence Lacroix.

It is only two days since Jurgen Klopp revealed that Matip will undergo surgery to repair a ruptured ACL, and reports linking the Reds to a replacement have begun.

The long-serving defender will miss the remainder of the campaign and, with his contract up in the summer, may well have played his last game for the club.

And while Klopp still has a strong core of centre-backs in Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate, Joe Gomez and Jarell Quansah, the likelihood is that a fifth will be sought.

According to the Mirror‘s John Cross, this has seen Lacroix pop up “on their radar.”

Lacroix, 23, came through the same Sochaux academy as Konate in France, before joining Wolfsburg in 2020 and, so far, going on to make 113 appearances.

Cross claims the Frenchman “could be available at £25 million-plus,” with a year-and-a-half left on his contract at the Volkswagen Arena.

A pacy, right-sided centre-back, any interest in Lacroix would be magnified by Liverpool sporting director Jorg Schmadtke’s links with Wolfsburg, having worked there for five years before his switch to Merseyside.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, August 15, 2022: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (L) and Crystal Palace's Marc Guéhi during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Lacroix is not the only centre-back floated as a target in the wake of Matip’s long-term injury, with Cross also claiming interest in Crystal Palace‘s Marc Guehi.

Guehi was touted with a move to Anfield in the summer, but stayed at Selhurst Park and has continued to impress despite Palace’s struggles under Roy Hodgson.

The 23-year-old is a regular in the England squad and has caught the eye with his performances alongside Joachim Andersen for his club.

Though naturally right-footed, Guehi typically plays on the left-hand side of the central pairing, which is arguably not the area Liverpool now need to address.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 11, 2023: Liverpool's Jarell Quansah during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brentford FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Van Dijk is cemented as first choice on the left with Quansah his high-potential deputy, while Matip was starter on the right with Konate’s minutes managed as competition.

According to Cross, Palace “will not sell next month” either way, and “will demand a huge fee before considering whether to sell,” with Arsenal also interested.

Lacroix is described as “more of an option for the immediate issue,” though he is unlikely to be the last centre-back linked with Liverpool in the coming weeks.