Liverpool linked with Sega Coulibaly

Liverpool have been linked with a move for French defender Sega Coulibaly, which could throw their reported pursuit of Dejan Lovren into doubt.

According to Sky Sports, Liverpool are just one of a number of clubs chasing the 18-year-old Rennes defender, who has represented France at Under-16 and Under-18 level.

Newcastle United are also said to be interested, along with Sevilla and Fiorentina, though Rennes are reportedly determined to keep the centre-back, who is expected to break into the first team ahead of the coming campaign.

Should the Reds make a move for Coulibaly, though, it would raise interesting questions about their pursuit of Southampton defender Lovren, who has been constantly linked with a move away from St Mary's this summer.

Liverpool have already signed Southampton duo Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana this transfer window and are said to be in the market for a central defender, too.

  TeamWon Tackles / appEffective Clearances / appAerial Duels Won / appInterceptions Won / appGoalsAppsMins
Dejan Lovren Southampton 1.55 7.71 3.26 2.71 2 31 2,788
Jose Fonte Southampton 1.44 8.31 2.39 2.06 3 36 3,181
Kolo Touré Liverpool 1.40 7.30 2.15 0.75 0 20 1,439
Mamadou Sakho Liverpool 1.39 7.56 2.67 1.50 1 18 1,480
Daniel Agger Liverpool 1.00 5.65 2.25 1.05 2 20 1,420
Martin Skrtel Liverpool 1.00 11.39 3.58 1.67 7 36 3,222

As Opta stats show, Croatia defender Lovren compared favourably with Liverpool's centre-backs in many areas, especially where tackles and interceptions were concerned.

However, the 24-year-old would face heavy competition for places, with Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho already vying for a first-team place, while Kolo Toure, Sebastian Coates and Tiago Ilori are also still on the books on Merseyside.

As such, Brendan Rodgers may decide to pursue Coulibaly with a view to the future, as the Frenchman is six years Lovren's junior. Considering the numbers, a move for both would be unlikely, with Liverpool also still needing a left-back.

Like Sakho, meanwhile, Coulibaly is known for his strength and could be mentored by his fellow countryman, who will know what it is like to settle in at Anfield.

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