Sunday 18 February 2018

Liverpool eye Juventus centre-half to shore up defensive frailties

Uruguay defender Martin Caceres is a reported transfer target for Liverpool
Uruguay defender Martin Caceres is a reported transfer target for Liverpool

Jack De Menzes

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp could look to strengthen his defence amid a wave of injuries by launching a move for Juventus centre-back Martin Caceres, despite the Uruguay international being a free agent in the summer.

Klopp has seen his squad decimated by hamstring injuries since arriving at Anfield, with no fewer than eight of his first-team ruled out with muscle strains and tears among a total of 13 current absentees.

Both Mamadou Sakho and Martin Skrtel are currently sidelined with Kolo Toure joining them after suffering cramp in Liverpool’s League Cup victory over Stoke,  although the latter’s absence is not thought to be a long-term one and he could return to face Arsenal this week.

However, Italian newspaper CalcioMercato report that Klopp is not willing to wait until the end of the season to sign Caceres, and will instead try to negotiate a move for the 28-year-old this month to try and add depth to the squad in a bid to cope with their lengthening fixture list – which was added to by the FA Cup third round replay with Exeter following last Friday’s draw.

Liverpool are believed to have won the race to sign former Inter Milan striker Alexandre Pato, with an £11m deal being reported by the Daily Star. Pato, who is currently signed to Brazilian side Corinthians, has been linked with both Arsenal and Tottenham, but it’s claimed that current Liverpool players Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino have persuaded their compatriot to join them at Anfield.

The Reds are also being linked with Belgium midfielder Dennis Praet, although they will have to meet Anderlecht’s €30m valuation if they want to sign the highly-rated 21-year-old this month.

The Daily Mirror claim that Liverpool’s infamous transfer committee have given the green light to launch a move for Praet, who could become the latest Belgian import to move to the Premier League and join his international team-mate Simon Mignolet on Merseyside.

(© Independent News Service)

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