Liverpool’s Mamadou Sakho is facing a lengthy ban after allegedly failing a drugs test. Here are three centre-backs to whom Jurgen Klopp could turn should the 26-year-old be ruled out.
3) Aleksandar Dragovic
Though predominantly right-footed, Dragovic is commonly deployed as Dynamo Kiev’s left-sided centre-back and the Austrian encounters few difficulties with this, being both comfortable in possession and positionally astute.
A host of Premier League clubs have been linked to his services in the past, with West Ham said to have balked at the Ukrainians’ £20 million asking price last summer.
However, with only two years left on his contract, the 24-year-old may be a more cost-effective option this time around.
2) Kalidou Koulibaly
Koulibaly is good that he was scouted by France manager Didier Deschamps earlier this season – despite not being eligible to play for Les Blues.
But the Senegal international, who plays on the left of Napoli’s centre-back pairing but is comfortable with either foot, could replace Sakho yet – at Anfield.
The Italians’ expected participation in next season’s Champions League could be a sticking point, though Liverpool may still qualify themselves, of course.
1) Holger Badstuber
One of only a small percentage of Bundesliga players who hasn’t already been linked to Klopp’s Liverpool, Badstuber would be an almost like-for-like replacement for Sakho being of a similar stature and preferring to kick with the same foot.
Reports claim Bayern will sign Mats Hummels from Dortmund this summer, leaving Badstuber, who’s out for the rest of the season with a broken ankle, very much on the periphery.
Though well-liked at the Allianz Arena, with only a year to run on his contract the 27-year-old may be seeking pastures new.