Liverpool transfer news: Ozan Kabak won't be signed despite permanent option

Ozan Kabak in action for Liverpool against Newcastle United

According to Fabrizio Romano, it is “unlikely” that Liverpool will retain Turkish centre-back Ozan Kabak ahead of next season.

What’s the latest transfer news involving Ozan Kabak?

Liverpool have not decided whether they want to sign Kabak on a permanent basis, according to Romano, though it currently looks unlikely. 

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In the January transfer window, the 21-year-old moved from Schalke to Liverpool on a loan deal with an option to buy. However, the insight from Romano suggested that the Reds may turn down the opportunity to retain his services.

How much could Liverpool buy Kabak for?

In January, Kabak was one of two centre-back signings for Liverpool alongside former Preston defender Ben Davies.

The Turkey international joined the Merseyside giants for an initial loan fee of £1m, with an option to buy for £18m, which could then rise to £26.5m in add ons, according to Sky Sports. The report states that Liverpool have until June to trigger that clause.

However as reported by Romano, RB Leipzig’s Ibrahima Konate is on the brink of a move to Anfield which could prove troublesome for Kabak and, as a result, the Reds may opt against recruiting the 21-year-old.

How has Kabak performed since joining Liverpool?

When fit, he has been a strong performer for the Reds and his stats pay tribute to that.

According to WhoScored, he has made the most tackles (2.1) per league game of any defender at the club. He has also made the third most clearances (3) in the Liverpool squad and ranks fourth highest for interceptions per game (1.3).

His ability in the air is also encouraging as he has the same aerial duels won per 90-minutes (2.9) as Virgil van Dijk.

Still, Konate would appear to be a genuine target given Romano’s insight and considering a number of players are due to return from injury, Kabak could, unfortunately, miss out. 

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Should Liverpool sign Kabak permanently?

Despite his encouraging performances, it is difficult to see where he would get game time next season with the number of centre-backs that are expected to be at the club.

If the reported Konate deal comes to fruition, then the club would have six first-team centre-backs including Kabak.

The likes of van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez will all return from injury and could be ahead of the Turkey international in the pecking order considering their previous exploits. Nat Phillips has also been impressive for the Reds and could prove to be a cheaper option than Kabak. 

For the player, a season without regular football at Liverpool could stunt his development and perhaps he might be better off looking for first-team opportunities elsewhere.

Read More – Summer transfer window: When does it open and who will move this summer?

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