A defensive crisis for Jurgen Klopp has forced the Liverpool boss into seeking reinforcements, with the 49-year-old set to be without four of his centre-backs for the Reds' opening game of the season.
According to The Mirror, Klopp is seeking to bring in Barcelona defender Thomas Vermaelen, who has endured a tough time at the Camp Nou, since joining the club from Arsenal in 2014.
The Belgian made 26 appearances for the Catalans last campaign, having made just a single appearance the previous season, after being diagnosed with a thigh injury, two days after completing his medical.
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And a hamstring surgery that December meant the Belgium international made just one appearance for the club that season, in the last game of the campaign against Deportivo. But, unfortunately for the 30-year-old, that injury has seemingly hindered his opportunities under Luis Enrique.
Lease of life
But Klopp is ready to offer Vermaelen a new lease of life, with Liverpool, as the club look set to start the campaign without Mamadou Sakho, who has an achilles problem, while long-term absentee Joe Gomez is also out with a similar issue.
Centre-back Martin Skrtel has left for Fenerbahce, ending an eight-year stay at Anfield, while Kolo Toure was released following the end of his contract. And the Reds boss is in a state of emergency as he tries to find the winning formula for his Liverpool team, in his first full season in charge.
Dejan Lovren, and new arrival Joel Matip, from Schalke, are expected to start the season for the Reds, as planned. However, with Sakho and Gomez unavailable for roughly the first month of the campaign, things are getting desperate for Klopp.
The German highly rates Gomez, and wants the 19-year-old England Under-21 international to play a big part in his long-term plans. But for now, the Liverpool boss is seeking an experienced head to help guide the club through this sticky patch.
Vermaelen has been identified as the obvious option, although the club may falter when negotiating the former Arsenal man's wage package, with the club not prepared to spend big on a player that, in the longer term, will act as back up to Lovren and Matip.
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