Liverpool: Klopp previews West Ham clash
Liverpool chiefs think Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi ticks two transfer boxes, according to reports. Jurgen Klopp is eager to sign a defender before the window shuts on Monday. He’s currently without Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez due to injury and knows his side must strengthen if they’re to retain the Premier League title.
Liverpool have been using Fabinho as a temporary replacement for the likes of Van Dijk, Matip and Gomez at the back.
But with the Brazil international now injured, Klopp is desperate to add to his backline before the transfer window shuts on Monday.
One player who has emerged as a potential target is Mustafi, with Arsenal open to parting ways with the Germany international.
He’s endured a difficult campaign under Mikel Arteta at the Emirates Stadium, making just three Premier League appearances this term.
And The Athletic say Mustafi ticks two transfer boxes for Liverpool.
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One is his affordability, with the 28-year-old on the market for cheap given Arsenal’s determination to cut him loose.
He’ll be out of contract at the end of the season, too, meaning the Gunners face either cashing in now or losing him for nothing at the end of the campaign.
And the second box he ticks for Liverpool is his Premier League experience.
Mustafi previously came through the ranks at Everton and has been at Arsenal ever since signing from Valencia back in the summer transfer window of 2016.
And whether Liverpool go after him is something only time will tell, especially with the clock now beginning to tick down.
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Klopp sounded desperate on Thursday when, in the aftermath of his side’s 3-1 win over Tottenham, he admitted he’d love to bring a new defender to Anfield to boost his side’s chances of title glory.
“If you have a centre-half available at a reasonable price, and one with the quality we need, then send me a message,” he said.
When quizzed on whether Liverpool would strengthen their attempts to bolster their squad, he added: “Look, I don’t know. But we will try.
“It is funny when you all think ‘oh Liverpool will be just fine with the situation and they don’t care or try’. We try but there is nothing to say until something happens.
“We will see. The situation yesterday didn’t make it easier but we still try to do the right things. If that’s possible, we will do it. If not, we won’t.
“My thoughts didn’t change but my words might have. That’s probably my English. Same situation as before. We work always on this.
“We thought [about making signings] and we think the whole time but it’s about doing the right thing. We need to find the right player. It’s incredible what’s happening in the defensive line.”
Meanwhile, BBC Sport pundit Jermaine Jenas has questioned whether Mustafi would improve Liverpool – and whether he’s better than anything they’ve currently got.
“Let’s just say that stopgap was Sokratis who came in, or Mustafi,” said Jenas.
“A centre-half out there who’s not getting a game.
“Are Liverpool fans going to be happy about it?”
“Is Jurgen Klopp looking at that and saying, ‘I’ve got an actual centre-half and this is better than Fabinho and Matip, or Henderson and Fabinho?
“Is it better, that stopgap, than what you’ve already got?”
Liverpool are next in action against West Ham on Sunday (4.30pm).
Jesse Lingard is poised to make his debut for the Hammers having signed on loan from Manchester United until the end of the campaign.
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