Liverpool will continue search for centre-back, says Jürgen Klopp

  • Joël Matip picked up ankle injury in win at Tottenham
  • ‘We are busy checking specific things in the market’

Jürgen Klopp has said Liverpool never “closed their eyes” to the need for a central defender in January and will continue the search for a reinforcement until Monday’s transfer deadline.

The Liverpool manager insists the Premier League champions have been in the market for a centre-half all month although, having previously claimed an addition was unlikely, there was a change in emphasis on Friday as he awaited scan results on Joël Matip’s latest ankle injury.

“The whole time we are busy checking specific things in the market,” said Klopp. “We always did and do it now as well, and we will see if something happens or not. In an ideal world it would be great that the short-term solution is the long-term solution as well. I don’t know if we can do that, but we will see.”

Having not replaced Dejan Lovren in July, lost Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez to serious knee injuries in October and November respectively, and given Matip’s poor injury record, Liverpool’s need to strengthen in central defence was clear long before the window reopened.

But Klopp, who will also be without Fabinho for Sunday’s visit to West Ham, said: “You know the clubs where the centre-halves are obviously interesting because everyone is talking about them. Tell me if one of these clubs needs the money and needs to sell a player? And if they need money then they want crazy money.

“As a football fan you can sit at home and think: ‘They have to do something.’ But that’s not how it works. We see the situation. We lost probably two of the best centre-halves in the whole market in a period of six-seven weeks. For the whole season. That’s massive. And then you have to find solutions in that moment. The winter transfer market opens and everyone says: ‘Now you can do something.’ We try. We see the situation. We don’t close our eyes. But while we are doing that we have to find solutions and play football.”

Klopp said there was an outside chance that Gomez could feature again this season, although there is no timeframe on his recovery. “Joe is in a pretty good place but far away from being back,” he said. “Will he be available this season? It will be close, I would say. I would be positively surprised if he would be back this season.”


Andy Hunter

The GuardianTramp

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