Liverpool are reportedly keen to bolster their defensive ranks in the summer.
As reported in the written version of weekly German publication SportBild, and quoted by Sport Witness, Liverpool have their eyes on a new summer defensive target as they look to bolster their squad ahead of a title challenge next season.
With Kolo Toure and Martin Skrtel ageing, and Dejan Lovren yet to fully impress, the Reds could be left with just Mamadou Sakho as a top level centre-half. To tie in with their transfer policy, they cannot go out and splash the cash on one massive name, and it looks like their main target could be available for a cut-price fee.
Greek international centre-back Kyriakos Papadopoulos currently plays for Bayer Leverkusen, on a season-long loan from fellow German club Schalke. The SportBild report, which is quoted by Sport Witness, claims that Roberto Di Matteo is keen on bringing the 23-year-old back to Schalke in the summer, and will have no intention to sell him to Leverkusen, should they wish to make the deal permanent.
Liverpool’s interest is also mentioned, and they are claimed to have been tracking the 16-cap international for many years. Although Di Matteo’s reluctance to sell may hinder any deal, the report suggests that, with his contract ending in 2016, Schalke may have to give in and remove any risk of losing Papadopolous for free at the end of next season.
The report indicates that a fee of €7 million should be enough for Liverpool to open talks with the player, and then it is up to Papadopoulos to decide whether he fancies a transfer to Merseyside.