Klopp confirms Liverpool will try to sign centre-back before January transfer window closes

Injuries to Joel Matip and Fabinho have left the Reds desperately short of defensive cover, and they look set to move in the market as a result

Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool wil try to sign a centre-back before Monday’s transfer deadline.

The Reds are, belatedly, set to react in the market after their defensive crisis worsened significantly this week.

Fabinho missed the 3-1 win over Tottenham on Thursday with a muscle injury, while Joel Matip suffered ankle ligament damage and was substituted at half-time, leaving Klopp without all four of his first-choice centre-half options.

The Brazilian will definitely miss Sunday’s trip to West Ham, while Matip underwent a scan on Friday morning and looks set to be out for a number of weeks – though Klopp hinted on Friday that there was a chance the issue was not as serious as initially feared.

“Last night after the game I was pretty emotional just because at half-time the boys [are] sitting there,” he said. “Now, meanwhile, there are still glimpses of hope that it’s not serious.

“No, we don’t have the final result because the scan didn’t happen yet. So we [will] know more in three or four hours hopefully. 

“Fabinho [has] no chance for the weekend.”

The Reds’ misfortune means Jordan Henderson will continue in defence, and the captain is likely to be partnered by Nathaniel Phillips in what would be Klopp’s 13th different starting combination in 21 Premier League matches this season.

Rhys Williams, the 19-year-old, is another potential option, but Klopp has now confirmed the club will look for a solution in the transfer market in order to alleviate the pressure.

“I don’t know, but we will try,” he said. “We always try. It would be funny if you thought Liverpool were fine with the situation, that we don’t care or don’t try.

“We try, but as you know, there’s nothing to say until something happens. We will see.

“The situation yesterday didn’t make it easier but still we are trying to do the right things. If it’s possible then we will do it. If not, then not.”

Klopp’s latest statement represents a significant change from his comments earlier in the month, where he had suggested it was “not likely” that Liverpool would do any business in January. 

“My thoughts didn’t change, my words might have!” he said. “Same situation as before.

“We work. When we don’t sleep, we work. We will see.

“Everything is long-term. OK, apart from if we bring a [loan] player for the next six months or whatever. I think I had one half-year contract, Steven Caulker [in 2016], yes?

“It’s about a solution, and that’s what we are working on.”

Asked about the challenge of finding the right player, for the right price, to come in and make an immediate difference, Klopp added: “I’m not sure there’s an £80 million centre-back available in the moment. I know that this player, or this calibre, I’m not sure teams would want to sell them now.

“Of course, we need to find the right player. That’s clear. And it needs to suit our financial situation. That’s clear as well.”



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