Liverpool's chances of signing Chelsea defender Levi Colwill have taken a blow following Wesley Fofana's latest injury setback.
The Blues announced on Monday that the French defender is set to miss the club's pre-season USA tour due to a knee injury, while his compatriot Benoit Badiashile has also been left out of the squad for the trip as he continues to recover from a long-term hamstring problem.
The double injury blow leaves Chelsea short-staffed at the back, with Thiago Silva and Trevor Chalobah their only fit central defenders — in addition to Colwill.
While Colwill's future still hangs in the balance amid interest from Liverpool — who have made the former Brighton star their top defensive target this summer — he could be drafted straight into the starting lineup for Chelsea's Premier League opener, which is incidentally against the Reds.
Mauricio Pochettino indicated that he wants the English defender to remain at the club and could be about to double down on his stance as Chelsea's injury crisis at the back claimed another victim in Fofana.
Colwill was one of England's standout performers as they won the Under-21 European Championships earlier this summer, with Liverpool midfielders Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott also part of the squad.
Speaking after the Three Lions' triumph, Colwill — who has just two years left on his current contract — revealed that gametime will be the key factor in deciding his future.
H said: "I’ll speak to my family, speak to everyone I need to and make a decision. I've got to play at the end of the day to hopefully get there (England senior team) and go to the next camp.”
The 20-year-old is a top target for Liverpool, as they look to draft in a left-sided central defender in a back-three. The Reds rate Colwill highly and see him as a natural successor to Virgil van Dijk. However, it was confirmed to Anfield Watch last week that a transfer would hinge on the defender pushing for a move.