Reports on Sunday night claimed that Liverpool are closing in on the £4m signing of Augsburg defender Ragnar Klavan.
James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo and Tony Barrett of the Times – the two most reliable of all Liverpool sources – broke the news that the Reds were closing on the signing of the 30-year-old central defender.
Jurgen Klopp’s need for defensive reinforcements has be exacerbated in recent weeks. Kolo Touré and Martin Skrtel have both left the club this summer, and with Joe Gomez and Mamadou Sakho to miss the start of the season with injury, Joel Matip being forced off in today’s friendly win at Wigan, and Tiago Illori to represent Portugal at the Olympics (assuming he is even at the club in August), recruiting a centre back became a pressing matter.
The reports claim that discussions between Liverpool and Augsburg are continuing but the hope is that a deal will be agreed in time for Klavan to join the squad ahead of their pre-season tour of the US.
Klavan is the captain of the Estonian national team – having amassed over 100 caps for the side – and has been in Germany for four years, joining the club from Dutch side AZ in 2012.
He will have been known to Klopp from their time in the Bundesliga, but he also played for Augsburg in their two games against Liverpool in last season’s Europa League round of 32 – a tie which Klopp’s side won 1-0 on aggregate.
The Echo report goes on to add that, in addition to Klavan, Klopp will look to recruit another experienced defender, one who can play on the left of a central defensive partnership. Reports on Sunday linked the club with a move for Barcelona’s Jeremy Mathieu and he would certainly fit the bill in that regard.
Barring any late hitches, the deal is in line to be completed later this week.