There will be several Premier League clubs interested in signing Kolo Toure when his contract at Manchester City expires at the end of next month, in fact some may already be talking to him.
One of those clubs is reported to be Liverpool and there are several reasons why Brendan Rodgers should get him signed up at Anfield before any of the rivals for his signature can react.
Toure is an almost perfect replacement for the retiring Jamie Carragher on two different fronts; his experience and his leadership.
He has experience of playing in the Premier League from long spells with Arsenal and Manchester City and his leadership skills have been tested with both sides in high pressure situations.
Significantly he’s not going to cost Liverpool a penny because he’s soon to become a free agent.
That should ensure the board is happy to offer him a competitive contract because there is no fee involved, without having to break the socialist financial structure which the club continues to develop.
Liverpool have been linked with plenty of defensive transfer targets over recent months such as Toby Alderweireld and Modibo Diakite, both of which could turn out to be very expensive deals making this option an awful lot more appealing to the club.
Liverpool should also be very appealing to Toure because it offers him the chance to stay up North and he has the chance to guide some of the youngsters coming through the ranks at the club.
That is likely to be a big factor in Rodgers’ decision to go after him because Liverpool have some inexperienced defenders just breaking into the first team; Martin Kelly, Andre Wisdom, John Flanagan and Jack Robinson to name just a few.
Toure should relish the role of making those youngsters better players over the course of their immediate careers and they are all talented players who will turn to the 32-year-old for help on a frequent basis.
Toure is certainly still good enough to play alongside either Daniel Agger or Martin Skrtel at the club and his development at Arsenal and Manchester City means he already fits in with the way Rodgers likes his teams to play.
He’s well experienced when it comes to passing the ball out from the back four, which means Rodgers won’t have any issues including him in the side as soon as he’s signed an official deal.
The only issue with this deal is that it goes against the ethos at the club of buying young and developing younger players. It's likely the Reds will buy another big name centre-back however, with Toure likely to be cover as fourth choice, but he will give them superb strength in depth.
However, Rodgers cannot pass up the opportunity to replace the experience of Carragher with someone who has spent a lot of time in the English game and who won’t cost bucket loads for the club to sign.
How do you think Toure will fit in at Liverpool?
image: © Alfonso Jimenez