Liverpool impressed by Robin Le Normand on scouting mission

Real Sociedad defender Robin Le Normand has been scouted by Liverpool, according to one report.

Liverpool's plans for defensive reinforcement are well known.

The Reds looked at options to bring in a new left-sided centre back during the summer transfer window, but ultimately decided to focus on the midfield overhaul, with the signings of Alexis Mac Allister, Dominik Szoboszlai, Wataru Endo and Ryan Gravenberch for a combined figure of around £145m.

However, Anfield Watch understands that strengthening the defence will be the club's recruitment priority in 2024, with a number of options being looked at.

Meanwhile, TEAMtalk claim that both Liverpool and Manchester United have been impressed by Le Normand during recent scouting trips to Europe.

A french-born Spain international, 26-year-old Le Normand joined Real Sociedad from Brest in 2016 and has made close to 200 first-team appearances for the Basque club since, impressing as one of the top centre backs in La Liga.

The six-cap Spain star has gone to another level of recognition in 2023, having received his first international call-up this year, as well as playing Champions League football for the first time with La Real.

Under contract in San Sebastian until 2026, Le Normand has a release clause of €50m (£43.6m) – a potentially tempting figure for the likes of Liverpool.

Though right-footed, Le Normand typically plays as the left-sided central defender for his club and is known for his ability on the ball.

READ MORE: Two defenders scouted by Liverpool during international break

Liverpool's need for more defenders is clear.

Though he may yet have his deal extended, Reds veteran Joel Matip's contract is set to expire at the end of the current season, while Ibrahima Konate's injury history further points to the need for strength in depth.

Goncalo Inacio (Sporting CP), Piero Hincapie (Bayer Leverskusen) and Levi Colwill (Chelsea) are among the names who have been linked in recent months – though the latter has since signed a new long-term contract at Stamford Bridge.

The Reds have specifically targeted a left-sided option who has the attributes to operate both in a traditional back four and as part of a back three, when Jurgen Klopp's new system sees Trent Alexander-Arnold push into midfield.

However, there may be defensive additions in other roles too and Anfield Watch has reported that Liverpool are interested in AZ's versatile full back Yukinari Sugawara.

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