Liverpool to head into January with 'no concrete centre-back target'

Liverpool will go into the January transfer window with "no concrete key target" for the centre-back position despite Joel Matip's season-ending injury, according to The Mail.

Despite a glaring lack of depth in the position, it appears that Jurgen Klopp’s stance on potential signings remains conservative.

While acknowledging the need for reinforcements, Klopp had previously hinted at a slim chance of January acquisitions, dispelling the idea of a significant overhaul.

That said, the Mail report suggests that Liverpool remain open to opportunities and will be monitoring the market to capitalise on potentially cost-effective or short-term defensive options that may unexpectedly surface, especially at clubs that have been eliminated from the Champions League.

Many targets ruled out

It's been no secret that the Reds have been looking for a left-sided centre-back, but Klopp and his team are yet to settle on a player to make a top-priority signing.

While Reds' scouts have explored the Portuguese market extensively, focusing on players like Sporting Lisbon’s Goncalo Inacio, the inflated release clause of over £50 million poses a substantial hurdle. Competition from Premier League rivals like Arsenal further complicates a potential pursuit.

David Carmo, previously on Liverpool's radar during his time at Braga, has since moved to Porto, diminishing the Reds’ interest.

Perr Schuurs of Torino, once a target for several English clubs, including Crystal Palace, is also now out of the equation having suffered an injury similar to Matip's.

And despite being available on a free transfer next summer, long-term target Lloyd Kelly has also seemingly been ruled out over question marks whether he is of sufficient calibre.

On the midfield front, Liverpool’s appetite for acquisitions seems subdued there, too. While links to Fulham’s Joao Palhinha have resurfaced in recent weeks, the club are highly reluctant to match the Cottagers' £90-million valuation for the 28-year-old.

Lacroix, an option

At present, the strongest links to a centre-back are to Maxence Lacroix of Wolfsburg. According to Ben Jacobs, Liverpool are one of “plenty of clubs” that appreciate Lacroix’s talents.

That said, the journalist said that if the centre-back’s value surpasses the £30-million mark, then the Reds will see “no value” in a deal and pull the plug.

And with Celtic not expected to extend Nat Phillips' emergency loan deal and the Reds set to cut short Rhys Williams' stay at Aberdeen, Liverpool's "defensive crisis" may not be as serious as it appears, and the club may be wise not to jump into the market unnecessarily.

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