On the same day that Liverpool found out that Mamadou Sakho faces a footballing ban, reports have emerged from Spain that the club have bid for a centre-back.
Sport have stated that the Merseyside club have submitted a formal offer for Barcelona’s Thomas Vermaelen with a deal thought to be around £7.5 million.
The 30-year-old has barely played for the Catalan club since arriving from Arsenal in 2014, making just 11 La Liga appearances in two seasons.
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And, at first glance, it seems as though the Belgian could be a ready-made replacement for the soon-to-be suspended Sakho. The former Arsenal captain is a left-footed ball-playing defender, similar to the Frenchman.
One thing that is sure to put Liverpool off, though, is his advancing years.
But with age comes experience and Jurgen Klopp will be attracted by the fact Vermaelen has played 12 seasons with Ajax, Arsenal and Barcelona.
On Wednesday morning, Liverpool were dealt with the news that Sakho faces a lengthy ban. Many reports suggest that the Frenchman will be out from anywhere between six months to two years.
However, The Times suggest that the former Paris Saint-Germain now faces a four-year suspension due to the fact he didn’t challenge his failed drugs test.
If that’s the case, it’s no wonder that Liverpool are seeking defensive cover.
But Sakho’s not the only current centre-back that Klopp is likely to be without next season.
The future of Kolo Toure is in doubt with the 35-year-old’s contract expiring in the summer. Klopp spoke about the defender's future by saying, per BBC Sport: "Kolo is a very, very important player for us, even when he doesn't play.
"He's one of the most impressive people I have met, but now is not the right time to speak about Kolo's future."
Toure responded by saying: "It's great to hear that from a great manager.
"As long as I can bring something [to the team] I'm happy to stay but if I can't, there is no point."
Other centre-back doubts
Another centre-back that could also be leaving Anfield at the end of this current campaign is Martin Skrtel. The 31-year-old has been at the club for nine seasons but has found first-team football hard to come by under Klopp.
Meanwhile, Steven Caulker looks set to return to parent club Queens Park Rangers having made only four appearances since arriving in January.
So, it’s little surprise to hear that Liverpool are targeting central defenders. Vermaelen may not be capable of playing every match but he could provide much-needed cover for the side next season.
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