Liverpool told no "top" centre-back will want to join them with January transfer

Former Liverpool defender Glen Johnson has explained why no centre-back “at the top of his game” will want to permanently move to Anfield in the January transfer window.

The Reds have been linked with a whole host of central defenders from across Europe as they aim to plug the hole left by Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez – both of whom suffered major knee injuries early in the season.

But little progress has been made in bringing a new centre-back to Anfield, with midfielders Fabinho and Jordan Henderson forced to drop back into an unfamiliar role in recent Premier League fixtures.

Henderson has started Liverpool's last two matches at centre-back
Henderson has started Liverpool’s last two matches at centre-back

Johnson believes Liverpool will struggle to convince an elite-level centre-back to move to Merseyside, as they will immediately fall down the pecking order once Van Dijk and Gomez return to full fitness.

“It’s a tough one. Obviously Hendo and Fabinho are fantastic players and have proved that they can do a job at centre-half,” the former England right-back told Sky Sports .

Former Liverpool man Johnson believes the Reds should pursue a loan signing
Former Liverpool man Johnson believes the Reds should pursue a loan signing

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“The problem is for Liverpool that if they try to sign someone, whoever comes through the door is going to know that they are third, fourth or even fifth choice come eight months’ time.

“What player at the top of his game is going to want to do that?”

As such, Johnson – who made 200 appearances for the Reds – claims Liverpool would have a better chance trying to land a centre-back on a temporary deal.

He added: “Possibly a loan, maybe? Possibly someone that knows they are only going to come in until the end of the season.

“That’s probably a more likely option – but do they need more bodies? Yes, definitely.”

Joel Matip missed the 0-0 draw with Manchester United on Sunday with a groin injury, but he will return to training ahead of the clash with Burnley on Thursday.

Should Liverpool pursue a loan deal for a centre-back? Have your say in the comments.

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