Liverpool add 2 ex-Man City centre-backs to summer transfer shortlist

Though their next manager is unknown, Liverpool are expected to sign a new centre-back this summer regardless, with two ex-Man City defenders of interest.

Between now and the confirmation of Jurgen Klopp‘s successor, any speculation over new signings should be taken with a pinch of salt.

With no manager or sporting director in place, there are still major boxes to tick before any summer arrivals are given the green light.

But with Liverpool’s scouting and recruitment structure otherwise remaining, work continues with identifying potential signings and contacting agents over possible deals.

As Joel Matip continues his recovery from a serious ACL injury, the reality is that, with his contract due to expire, the Reds could bring in another centre-back.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, May 3, 2023: Liverpool's Cody Gakpo (L) is challenged by Fulham's Tosin Adarabioyo during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Fulham FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Two names on Liverpool’s shortlist are Fulham‘s Tosin Adarabioyo and Borussia Monchengladbach’s Ko Itakura, who both spent time on the books at Man City.

Nizaar Kinsella of the Evening Standard is the latest to link Adarabioyo with a move to Anfield, with his contract also set to run out on July 1.

This follows similar stories from the Mirror‘s John Cross and the Mail‘s Simon Jones, though it should be noted that none of these sources are based on Merseyside.

Adarabioyo is, according to Kinsella, “open to staying at Craven Cottage and will decide his future at the end of the season,” with Fulham preparing a new offer.

Links with a switch to Anfield could be tied to that situation, though given his age, at 26, experience and homegrown status, he would likely be on Liverpool’s radar.

DOHA, QATAR - Wednesday, November 23, 2022: Japan's Ko Itakura during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group E match between Germany and Japan at the Khalifa International Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Itakura, who has just returned from the Asian Cup after Japan were knocked out by Iran, was first mentioned as a target for the Reds by Fabrizio Romano on New Year’s Day.

Liverpool were claimed to have scouted the 27-year-old “multiple times,” with this story corroborated by Sky Germany’s Florian Plettenberg later in January.

While Adarabioyo could be available for free, Itakura has a release clause of between £8.5 million and £12.8 million.

Though both spent time at Man City, their paths barely crossed, with Adarabioyo spending 17 years in the academy before joining Fulham in 2020, while Itakura’s three years on the books were spent on loan at FC Groningen and Schalke.

Sporting CP’s Ousmane Diomande – who is coached by managerial candidate Ruben Amorim – is another centre-back being considered, This Is Anfield understands.