Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp had four central defenders on their wished list within the summer of 2017, yet as an inventory of young pretenders with potential.
Klopp eventually signed Vergil Van Dijk from Southampton in Jan 2018 for £75m, however not before Saints had reportable the Reds to the Premier League over associate degree alleged unlawful approach.
Liverpool created a central defender their priority linguistic communication at the tip of Klopp’s 1st full season in 2016/17, and Klopp went through an inventory with 3 alternative targets that had been shortlisted.
Neil Jones of Goal says metropolis “were able to commit massive money” to enhance their defence in summer 2017 when shipping in forty two goals in thirty eight games.
After a long process involving scouts, agents and “background checks”, the club had compiled two lists, A and B, with the first consisting of “those who it was felt could make an immediate impact”, and the second comprised of younger players with potential.
While the ‘B’ list contained the likes of Manuel Akanji, Eder Militao and Jamaal Lascelles, the ‘A’ list was made up of what Klopp called “slam dunks”.
Jerome Boateng was considered but turned down because of his age and injury record. Liverpool “looked closely” at Aymeric Laporte before deciding that Manchester City’s interest and Athletic Bilbao’s asking price were “significant obstacles” and Kalidou Koulibaly of Napoli.
But Klopp decided Van Dijk was “the one” after he shackled Liverpool in both legs of the 2017 League Cup semi-final, and the Dutchman “was always deemed the No.1 target” for the position.