Liverpool handed transfer boost in defender chase

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Liverpool have been given an apparent boost in their pursuit of Kyriakos Papadopoulos after Schalke sporting director Horst Heldt claimed the German club would be ready to talk if a formal approach was made for the defender.

The future of Papadopoulos has been the subject of intense speculation during recent weeks and, reports the Daily Star, Liverpool are monitoring the situation of the 21-year-old with great interest.

Liverpool would reportedly have to part with £13 million if they hope to bring Papadopoulos to Anfield before the transfer deadline, but the Reds have yet to make a formal approach for the Greece international.

Horst, however, has warned Liverpool that, were they to make their interest official, they would not be the only club attempting to secure the signature of the highly-rated young centre-back.

"There are a lot of clubs to take into account," he told Bild.

"Specifically, there is nothing that has arrived, as far as I know.

"We're going to speak to each other when it takes concrete form.

"There is currently nothing concrete, and besides, he is a mainstay for Schalke."

The retirement of Jamie Carragher at the end of last season has led Liverpool to enter the market for defensive reinforcements, with Kolo Toure already having been acquired from Manchester City.

Brendan Rodgers, however, appears keen to recruit further options at centre-back, with Papadopoulos seemingly one of the key targets identified by the Liverpool boss.

The player joined Schalke from Olimpiacos in the summer transfer window of 2010 and has since made 92 appearances for the Bundesliga club, during which time he has scored seven goals.

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