Five centre-backs Liverpool can sign after Jamie Carragher makes transfer plea

Jamie Carragher has pleaded with Jurgen Klopp to sign a centre-back in January – and the case for defensive reinforcements is becoming ever harder for the Liverpool manager to resist.

The groin problem suffered by Joel Matip during the Reds’ draw with West Brom on Sunday was the latest blow in the worst injury crisis of Klopp’s reign at Anfield.

And Carragher said afterwards that Liverpool now “have to” sign a senior centre-back when the transfer window opens next week if they are to defend their Premier League title.

Klopp has young defenders Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips to play alongside makeshift centre-back Fabinho at the heart of the Reds rearguard.

But Carragher says it is “paramount” that his former club have another option with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez out long-term.

Jamie Carragher said Liverpool now ‘have to’ sign a defender in January

“I don’t necessarily mean bring in a centre-back for £70m-£80m, like a Van Dijk signing,” he said.

“And not necessarily someone to go straight in the team – just someone there so Liverpool don’t end up with two young lads at some stage if Fabinho was to go down injured.

“Because at this moment Liverpool Football Club have one senior centre-back who’s available this season and he’s injury prone. So they have to, have to do something in January.”

But who could Liverpool sign to make sure their title defence isn’t undermined? Here, Mirror Sport looks at some of the best options.

Dayot Upamecano

Liverpool could miss out on in-demand Dayot Upamecano. (Photo by Roland Krivec/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
RB Leipzig star Dayot Upamecano would be an expensive option

The RB Leipzig defender has been tipped to move to the Premier League for some time, having been linked to Arsenal and Manchester United as well as Liverpool.

The 22-year-old has a release clause in his contract meaning he can be signed for €42million (£38m) – but that doesn’t come into effect until the summer, meaning it would cost a lot to persuade Leipzig to part with him in January.

So the France international wouldn’t necessarily be the bargain option Carragher is calling for.

David Alaba

Bayern Munich's Austrian defender David Alaba warms up prior to the German first division Bundesliga football match Bayern Munich vs Werder Bremen in Munich, on November 21, 2020. (Photo by CHRISTOF STACHE / AFP) / DFL REGULATIONS PROHIBIT ANY USE OF PHOTOGRAPHS AS IMAGE SEQUENCES AND/OR QUASI-VIDEO (Photo by CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images)
David Alaba will become a free agent next summer – but could he move in January?

Alaba is set to leave Bayern Munich at the end of the season – and there will be a clamour to land the versatile defender on a free transfer.

He will be able to sign a pre-contract agreement with a club outside Germany in January – and the opportunity to join the Premier League champions and link up with former team-mate Thiago Alcantara will no doubt be tempting for the 28-year-old.

But with Liverpool needing centre-back options now, could they persuade Bayern to part with him for a fee rather than lose him for nothing next summer?

Milan Skriniar

Milan Skriniar was heavily linked with Tottenham during the summer

Skriniar was a target for Tottenham in the summer and Inter Milan were reportedly willing to sell for the right price.

The Slovakia international is at his best in a back two, so would arguably be more suited to playing for Liverpool than in the three-man backline favoured by Inter boss Antonio Conte.

Liverpool would have to cough up around £50m – but would be getting a 25-year-old with experience at the top level and plenty of resale value.

A price worth paying to retain their status as Premier League champions?

Perr Schuurs

Perr Schuurs impressed against Liverpool in the Champions League
Perr Schuurs impressed against Liverpool in the Champions League

Schuurs has been almost ever present for Ajax this season and has earned comparisons with former club-mate Matthijs de Ligt.

At this stage in his career the 21-year-old is not the experienced head Carragher wants, but he is highly rated and would provide another option.

The youngster has wisely said he plans to stay in Holland for a few more seasons to properly learn his trade – but he would surely be tempted if Liverpool came calling.

His contract is set to expire in 2022 – so Ajax could be tempted to cash in.

Antonio Rudiger

Antonio Rudiger would bring plenty of Premier League experience

Chelsea defender Rudiger was looking for a move in the summer, having dropped down the pecking order since the arrival of Thiago Silva at Stamford Bridge.

The 27-year-old still has his best years ahead of him, has plenty of experience at the highest level, and will enter the final year of his contract next summer.

Liverpool would most likely have to pay around £30m – but that could prove a bargain for a 27-year-old who has plenty of Premier League pedigree and could help guide some of the Reds’ younger players.


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