Liverpool Transfer News Today: BARGAIN centre-backs linked, SHOCK manager candidate

As the January transfer window nears its end, Liverpool remain highly unlikely to make any signings, especially following the shock announcement of manager Jurgen Klopp's departure at the end of the season.

Nevertheless, some outgoings are still possible ahead of deadline day, and anticipation is now building towards a busy summer as the Anfield rebuild gets underway.

Amid the swirling rumours, here is the latest Liverpool transfer news as of Tuesday 30 January.

Liverpool make contact over Japanese defender

Anfield Watch has been told that Liverpool have initiated contact with Ko Itakura in an effort to convince the Japan international to join.

The Reds have reportedly intensified their pursuit of the versatile Borussia Monchengladbach star in response to interest from various European clubs, including their Premier League rivals, Manchester United.

The centre-back, who can also feature in midfield, possesses a release clause that becomes effective in the summer, allowing any interested club to secure his services for approximately £13m — making him a relative bargain in the market.

Fulham centre-back impresses

The Reds have also been linked with a move for Fulham centre-back Tosin Adarabioyo.

The 26-year-old has impressed in the Cottagers’ back line since signing from Manchester City in October 2020 and is out of contract in the summer.

As a result, both AC Milan and Inter Milan have been mentioned as possible destinations for the 6’5 defender.

According to the Daily Mail, he impressed Liverpool staff in the recent Carabao Cup semi-finals, a two-legged tie ultimately won by the Reds.

PSG line up Mbappe replacement

Liverpool and Real Madrid have been handed a boost in the Kylian Mbappe race with reports emerging that Paris Saint-Germain are lining up Rafael Leao as a replacement for their all-time top goalscorer.

Kylian Mbappe (Paris SG)

The Portugal winger has a release clause of £150 million in his AC Milan contract and, at 24, is one of the most electrifying talents in European football.

Telefoot journalist Saber Desfarges reports that PSG are looking towards the summer transfer window with Leao firmly in their sights.

Nat Phillips completes Championship loan

Meanwhile, defender Nat Phillips has completed a loan move to Cardiff City until the end of the season.

The 26-year-old had been a target for Blackburn Rovers and Leeds United earlier in the January transfer window but he has now travelled to Wales in order to join Cardiff on a six-month deal.

The Reds had previously sent Phillips out on loan to Scottish champions Celtic on a half-season moive.

He only played eight times for the Hoops before returning to Anfield, scoring an own goal in a defeat against Kilmarnock in his final appearance.

Nat Phillips, Pro Shots

Nat Phillips, ProShots

Lopetegui linked to the Reds

An unlikely name has emerged as a shock contender to replace Jurgen Klopp as Liverpool manager next season: Julen Lopetegui.

Journalist Ben Jacobs (via GIVEMESPORT) claims that the former Real Madrid boss is in the running for the Liverpool job.

A former goalkeeper who made appearances for both Barcelona and Real Madrid, Lopetegui rose to prominence at Porto and then as Spain manager, qualifying for the 2018 World Cup but was dismissed on the eve of the tournament for agreeing to take over at Los Blancos when the games ended.

His spell at Madrid was disastrous, lasting barely three months and 14 matches, but he reestablished his reputation by winning the Europa League with Sevilla in 2020.

Results eventually turned in Seville, leading to his dismissal, and the 57-year-old popped up as Wolves manager in November 2022.

After speculation that he would leave due to Wolves’ precarious financial situation, he departed his post on the eve of the 2023/24 Premier League season and hasn't managed since.

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