Fabrizio Romano has revealed that Liverpool were offered the opportunity to sign a defender late in the January transfer window and had discussed it internally before deciding against a move.
The Italian said on his Here We Go Podcast on Friday that the Reds had been given the chance to swoop for Red Bull Salzburg centre-back Oumar Solet, who’s been on the radar of Anfield scouts ‘for a long time’.
The journalist outlined: “Liverpool were never close to completing a signing in the January transfer window because they were really happy with the squad they have.
“They were never close to signing Andre [Trindade] or any other player despite all the rumours, but they were offered a nice possibility, an interesting opportunity with Oumar Solet at Salzburg as new centre-back – a player that they’ve been scouting for a long time.
“The German director at Liverpool, [Jorg] Schmadtke, knows the player so well so they were discussing internally the possibility for Solet. Then Liverpool decided not to sign any player. He was also in the list at Napoli and also at Lens, but he ended up staying at Salzburg.”
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Like Romano said, it never seemed likely that Liverpool would make any significant signings in January, with Jurgen Klopp instead happy to proceed with the squad already at his disposal.
Despite Joel Matip’s season-ending ACL injury, the emergence of Jarell Quansah has lessened the urgency around recruiting a new centre-back, although it’s a position which could be pursued in the summer by whoever takes over as Reds manager.
Solet has made 14 appearances this season for Salzburg, including three in the Champions League, but three separate injuries have limited the 23-year-old’s availability to the Austrian kingpins (Transfermarkt).
That could be a potential red flag regarding the 6 foot 4 defender, and perhaps was a reason for Liverpool chiefs declining the opportunity to pounce even when he was offered to them.
Although the Frenchman might be a talented player, it seems that Klopp is happy enough with the centre-backs he already has, which is understandable when Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate, Quansah, Joe Gomez and Matip (prior to his ACL injury) have all performed commendably throughout the current campaign.
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