A Look at Liverpool Centre-back Targets Amid Release Clauses, Expiring Contracts and PSR Issues

Liverpool have shown interest in acquiring Leny Yoro from Lille as part of their efforts to bolster their central defense this summer.

Liverpool are committed to securing a new center-back this summer following Joel Matip’s departure at the end of his contract. Despite considering such a signing last year, the emergence of Jarell Quansah in preseason and the need to focus on midfield changes due to Jordan Henderson and Fabinho unexpectedly leaving for Saudi Arabia altered their plans. However, this summer, under new head coach Arne Slot, addressing this issue is a top priority for Liverpool, despite having several senior options.

The necessity for a long-term successor to captain Virgil van Dijk, whose contract expires next summer and who will turn 33 next month, is evident. Additionally, Ibrahima Konate’s injury record has led to speculation about a potential move to Paris Saint-Germain. Meanwhile, Joe Gomez, who has had injury troubles in the past, has transitioned into a more versatile role, primarily featuring at full-back last season.

Consequently, the idea that having four center-backs suffices for elite football squads has changed, now necessitating additional reinforcements. Liverpool have learned from past experiences that a single defensive absence can lead to crisis.

Liverpool have been consistently linked with several center-backs recently and is particularly keen on signing Leny Yoro from Lille. The 18-year-old has emerged as one of Europe’s most sought-after young talents and is available for transfer as his contract expires next summer.

However, despite Liverpool’s ongoing pursuit of Yoro, they recognise that Real Madrid are currently favourites to secure the Frenchman. Liverpool remain prepared to make a move if Real Madrid’s efforts fail, while also monitoring the transfer market closely.

Should Yoro not join Anfield, Liverpool will explore alternative options for center-backs. Newsnow Liverpool, takes a look at other potential targets linked with the club.

Levi Colwill, Chelsea

Liverpool have shown consistent interest in the England international, even considering a move for him last summer. His home-grown status enhances his appeal to Premier League clubs seeking talented players. Meanwhile, Bayern Munich is also reportedly eager to secure the defender.

Last summer, the versatile 21-year-old extended his contract with Chelsea until 2029. While Chelsea is reluctant to part with him, financial regulations may necessitate a sale, potentially prompting his suitors like Liverpool to keep tabs on developments from a distance.

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Piero Hincapie, Bayer Leverkusen

Hincapie, like Inacio, was linked with Liverpool last summer. The 22-year-old plays as a left-sided centre-back and is currently participating in the Copa America following a standout season with Bayer Leverkusen.

During the season, Hincapie featured in 43 matches for Xabi Alonso’s team, helping them secure their first Bundesliga title and the DFB-Pokal. Their bid for an invincible treble was thwarted only by a defeat in the Europa League final against Atalanta. With 144 club appearances under his belt so far, Leverkusen is unlikely to part with many players this summer following their impressive campaign.

Lutsharel Geertruida, Feyenoord

Feyenoord’s vice-captain under Slot, Geertruida, is nearing the end of his contract and is anticipated to depart this summer. Throughout this season, the 23-year-old mainly operated as a right-back for the Dutch club, although he is also adept in central defense.

Geertruida, currently part of the Netherlands squad at Euro 2024, has achieved success with Feyenoord, clinching the Eredivisie title and two KNVB Cups. He has amassed 198 appearances for the club thus far.

Ousmane Diomande, Sporting Lisbon

Liverpool have been keeping tabs on Diomande since January, according to reports from the ECHO. Despite his youth, like Yoro, he lacks experience at just 20 years old, although he already has 71 career appearances under his belt.

Expected to command a substantial transfer fee when he departs Sporting, Diomande had a standout 2023/24 season, clinching both the Primeira Liga and the Africa Cup of Nations with his club and country.

Matthijs de Ligt, Bayern Munich

Matthijs de Ligt, Virgil van Dijk’s defensive partner for the Netherlands, is set to depart Bayern Munich this summer following Vincent Kompany’s arrival at the club. Despite being under contract until 2027 and commanding a substantial salary, Bayern considers him a valuable asset for potential sale.

Previously linked with Liverpool during his Ajax days, the 24-year-old opted for Juventus in a €75m transfer in 2019 before moving to Bayern for up to €77m in 2022. De Ligt has accumulated 307 career appearances and clinched league titles in the Netherlands, Italy, and Germany.

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Liverpool maintains a strong rapport with Bayern, having completed transfers for Thiago Alcantara, Sadio Mane, and Ryan Gravenberch. However, there are currently no indications that they will pursue De Ligt, given the expected high cost of acquiring him.

Waldemar Anton, VfB Stuttgart

This week, reports from Germany suggested that Liverpool have reached out to the Bundesliga club about the 27-year-old player, who had an impressive season with Stuttgart. He captained them to a second-place finish and earned a spot in the league’s team of the season.

After his standout performance, he made his debut for Germany in March and is currently playing in Euro 2024. With 266 career appearances under his belt, he reportedly has a £19m release clause in his contract and is drawing interest from Bayer Leverkusen and Borussia Dortmund as well.

Marc Guehi, Crystal Palace

The young talent, formerly of Chelsea, is set to lead England’s defense at Euro 2024 due to Harry Maguire’s injury absence. At just 23 years old, he will become a free agent in 2026 and is expected to depart Crystal Palace this summer. The club has already lined up Chadi Riad as a potential replacement.

Since his £18m transfer to Selhurst Park in 2021, he has proven himself with 98 appearances in the Premier League. With a total of 172 career games under his belt, Guehi has attracted interest from Liverpool, Arsenal, and Manchester United in recent months.

Willian Pacho, Eintracht Frankfurt

Pacho, another Ecuadorian international participating in Copa America alongside Hincapie, is also a 22-year-old left-sided center-back. He joined Eintracht Frankfurt last summer and made a strong impression in his debut Bundesliga season, featuring in 44 matches across all competitions.

Before his stint in Germany, Pacho played in Ecuador and Belgium, where he won league titles in both countries. With a total of 137 career appearances so far, he is highly regarded and valued at more than £50 million.

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