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Liverpool 'identify two-man shortlist for Virgil van Dijk replacement'

Liverpool 'identify two-man centre-back shortlist'
© Reuters
Liverpool reportedly identify two possible replacements for the injured Virgil van Dijk in the January transfer window - Brighton's Ben White and Ozak Kabak of Schalke.

Liverpool have reportedly drawn up a two-man shortlist of potential January replacements for the injured Virgil van Dijk.

The Premier League champions are likely to be without the Dutchman for the remainder of the season after he suffered an ACL injury which requires surgery during Saturday's 2-2 Merseyside derby draw with Everton.

The setback leaves Jurgen Klopp with Joe Gomez and Joel Matip as his only two senior recognised centre-back options, while Fabinho adds extra cover as a makeshift choice.

Liverpool are subsequently expected to look for replacements when the transfer window reopens, and The Athletic reports that they have lined up two possible targets.

The top choice would be Brighton & Hove Albion's Ben White, whom they scouted extensively during his loan spell with Leeds United last summer.

Brighton refused to sell White during the summer, though, and the report goes on to claim that the Reds have identified Schalke 04's Ozan Kabak as an alternative option should White be unavailable again.

The 20-year-old impressed during his debut season for the Bundesliga outfit last season and could be open to a move away given Schalke's poor start to the new campaign.

White would likely cost in excess of £30m having only recently signed a new four-year contract at the Amex Stadium, while Kabak is valued at around £40m.

Liverpool have also been credited with an interest in Dayot Upamecano, although they are expected to wait until next summer, when his release clause drops in price, to make their move.


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Brighton & Hove Albion's Ben White pictured in September 2020
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