Liverpool transfers: £51m summer signing could be the perfect Joel Matip replacement

With Liverpool's 2023/24 campaign now consigned to the history books, attentions can now turn towards life without Jurgen Klopp and particularly the summer transfer window.

An overhaul is expected especially as there is a new recruitment team in place including incoming sporting director Richard Hughes and FSG’s new CEO of Football Michael Edwards taking the reins.

Whilst Mohamed Salah, Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez are among the names being tipped to leave Anfield this summer, the likes of Dani Olmo and Xavi Simons are being linked as potential signings for incoming manager Arne Slot.

Now following the announcement of Joel Matip's exit upon the expiry of his contract, Liverpool could look to sign a replacement and bolster their senior central defensive options that currently include captain Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate, Joe Gomez and youngster Jarell Quansah.

Of course, there's the option of internal solutions as SportBild have recently reported that it's increasingly likely Sepp van den Berg will remain with Liverpool this summer after excelling on loan at Mainz this season.

However, according to CaughtOffside, the Reds are set to open talks with Bayer Leverkusen over a potential €60million (£51million) deal for defender Odilon Kossounou.

In addition, the report states Liverpool are leading the race for the Ivory Coast international, who is also attracting interest from the likes of Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.

Kossounou the invincible

Kossounou has played a key role in an incredible season to date for Bayer Leverkusen. He made 22 appearances to help Xabi Alonso's side win the Bundesliga title for the first time in their history - doing so without suffering a single defeat - and has featured in their runs to the DFB-Pokal and Europa League finals.

Currently under contract at the BayArena until 2026, the defender is yet to respond to an offer of an extension. In any case, Leverkusen will be in a strong negotiation position should they decide to cash in on Kossounou and could be tempted into a deal should they receive an offer in the region of €60m.

In many ways, Kossounou would be an ideal replacement for Matip should a move to Anfield materialise as he's usually deployed as the right-sided central - although that's often been in a back three under Alonso - and can also cover at right-back.

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