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Paul Merson questions Liverpool move for Schalke's Ozan Kabak

Paul Merson claims that the agent of Schalke defender Ozan Kabak should be knighted for securing a move to Liverpool for his client.

Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson has said that he cannot believe Schalke 04 defender Ozan Kabak is on the verge of a move to Liverpool.

Despite securing the signature of Preston North End's Ben Davies on deadline day, the Premier League champions are understood to be closing in on an initial loan move for Kabak.

The deal reportedly also includes an £18m option to buy, and Merson has expressed his surprise that a defender from the Bundesliga's basement side is now set to link up with Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Merson said: "He honestly cannot believe his luck. I mean if you're his agent, you'd look to be knighted. You've just gone to the champions, and you've won one game all season. I'm shocked, it's really shocked me.

"If Liverpool had have drawn with West Ham, you'd have said that wasn't very good, because it's Liverpool. If Schalke go and draw somewhere, it's party time. That different mentality has to get into him as quickly as possible.

"I just think it's about bodies. If Jordan Henderson got injured and one of the young lads got injured, you've got nobody there and you can't be left with nobody. These aren't £80m centre-halves, they probably won't play, but they're there just in case."

Kabak has turned out 14 times during Schalke's abysmal 2020-21 Bundesliga campaign, and an initial £1m loan fee - potentially with another £500,000 in performance-related bonuses - is said to have been agreed between the two clubs.

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Preston North End defender Ben Davies pictured in January 2021
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Monday's key events

· There are no Brits in the women's 100m hurdles final, but Puerto Rico's Jasmine Camacho-Quinn, fresh from breaking the Olympic record in the semis, will hope to pip world record holder Kendra Harrison to gold (3.50am)
· The women's 5000m final also has no Team GB representation, but two-time world champion Hellen Obiri of Kenya will be looking to add an Olympic gold to her list of honours (1.40pm)

· The women's skiff 49er FX (6.33am) and men's skiff 49er (7.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races

· A place in the women's gold medal match is up for grabs, starting with an all-North American semi-final between United States and Canada (9am)
· Australia, who edged past Team GB's in a seven-goal quarter-final thriller, take on Sweden in the second semi-final (12pm)

· The track cycling schedule gets underway, with Team GB holding a particular interest in the team pursuit qualifying. Laura Kenny is part of the women's team (7.54am), while the men's team includes Ed Clancy (9.02am)

· The Gadirova twins Jessica and Jennifer will both take part in the women's floor final as they look to add to their team bronze (9.57am)

· Newly-crowned European champion Emily Campbell flies the flag for Great Britain in the women's +87kg, but faces stiff competition for medals from China's Li Wenwen and New Zealand's Laurel Hubbard (11.50am)

· The women's hockey quarter-finals begin, with Team GB last up against Spain (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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