Liverpool transfer round-up as Kabak nears move amid Reds’ centre-back search

Liverpool have been dealt a major blow in their pursuit of highly-rated Schalke defender Ozan Kabak, who is reportedly nearing a move to AC Milan.

The Reds have been linked with a £22million swoop for the Turkey international as they look to plug the hole left by centre-backs Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez.

But while one target is set to move elsewhere, another star has reportedly emerged on Liverpool’s radar – and Jurgen Klopp may be set to raid his former club Borussia Dortmund.

Elsewhere, there is an update on Philippe Coutinho’s future at Barcelona as the club’s finances continue to be hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak.

Here is Monday’s Liverpool transfer round-up.

Reds dealt Kabak blow

Kabak is reportedly poised to join Milan

Liverpool will reportedly miss out on Schalke star Ozan Kabak as the defender is set to join AC Milan.

The 20-year-old has been linked with a move to Anfield as is believed to have a price tag in the region of £22million.

But agent Gaetano Di Caro claims the Turkey international is on the verge of moving to San Siro.

He told MilanNews : “I have spoken in person with the Schalke general manager for some market surveys. From what emerges, he has been talking to Milan for a long time.

“Here they give for certain that Milan are already very close to Kabak. The Rossoneri have been looking for him for a long time.

“I also understand that [technical director Paolo] Maldini and [director of football Frederic] Massara have always been highly praised even by the player, they were the only ones who gave the feeling of wanting him at all costs.”

Fresh centre-back links emerge

Akanji is believed to be seen as an affordable option at centre-back

Despite the latest news on Ozan Kabak, there is hope Liverpool may yet strengthen their defence.

The latest centre-back touted to switch to Merseyside is Borussia Dortmund star Manuel Akanji.

The 25-year-old has been a mainstay at the heart of defence for Dortmund this season and is seen as a reasonably-priced alternative to RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano, reports the Daily Mail .

The Reds have long been linked with Upamecano but know the France international will command a hefty fee, while Leipzig will be loath to sell to the club they face in the Champions League last 16.

As such, Jurgen Klopp could enter negotiations with his old club to bolster his centre-back options by signing Akanji.

Which defender should Liverpool sign? Have your say here.

Barca look to offload Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho's future at Barcelona remains uncertain
Coutinho’s time with the Spanish giants may be coming to an end

The latest twist in Philippe Coutinho’s Barcelona saga could be an unfortunate one for the Brazilian.

Due to well-documented financial difficulties, Barca are looking to offload Coutinho to help balance the books, according to Sport .

The midfielder left Liverpool for Camp Nou in January 2018 for a fee of £142million but has never settled in Catalonia.

The report from Spain adds the president of Barcelona’s managing committee, Carles Tusquets, is has targeted a player sale as part of ongoing cost-cutting.

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