Liverpool looked into the possibility of signing Samuel Umtiti as a potential solution for Jurgen Klopp’s defensive crisis.
Jurgen Klopp had identified a number of targets to bolster his defence after Joel Matip joined Virgil van Dijk on the injury list, with neither expected to play again this season.
West Ham’s Issa Diop was considered by Liverpool and an enquiry was made regarding Marseille’s Duje Caleta-Car.
The Athletic reports that Liverpool also briefly considered signing Samuel Umtiti from Barcelona but the French World Cup-winner was eager to remain at the Camp Nou.
Liverpool ended up bringing in Ben Davies on a long-term contract from Preston North End, while Ozan Kabak joins the Reds on a loan deal until the end of the season although the Merseyside club has an option to buy this summer.
“Dave (Wagner) always said he will be a future captain of a team. He is a proper personality,” Klopp said of the new arrival.
“When you go abroad in that young age, to another country and play for other clubs, he could have played in Turkey in each club he wants. Goes then to Stuttgart, goes then to Schalke. He could have gone anywhere but he wanted to make football steps and we are a proper football step for him.
𝐅𝐮𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐟𝐨𝐜𝐮𝐬𝐞𝐝 👊 pic.twitter.com/OkepuvMTY4
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 2, 2021
“He wants to learn but he can deliver already.”
Klopp suggested that the new defenders may need some time to adapt to a new style of play, meaning that Liverpool will likely continue to rely on a combination of young, homegrown central defenders and makeshift centre-halves for at least a couple of matches.