Liverpool had secret Dayot Upamecano transfer plan before creating new four-man shortlist

Liverpool were already making plans to sign Dayot Upamecano before injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, according to reports. The Reds are engulfed in a centre-back crisis after being dealt another devastating blow on Wednesday.

News emerged from the England camp at St George’s Park that Gomez had suffered a serious knee injury in training.

Liverpool’s worst fears were later confirmed by Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate in his press conference ahead of the friendly against Republic of Ireland.

Southgate is believed to have spoken at length with Jurgen Klopp following the injury but now the Liverpool boss is tasked with finding a solution.

While Fabinho, Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams can help Joel Matip paper of the cracks, the Premier League champions are expected to be active in the January transfer market.

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They decided against replacing Dejan Lovren earlier in the summer, following his move to Zenit St Petersburg.

It’s a call that has since come back to haunt them with Liverpool now exposed at the back.

Nonetheless, The Athletic claim the Reds have already drawn up a four-man shortlist of potential replacements.

It’s allegedly topped by RB Leipzig man Dayot Upamecano, who has enjoyed an impressive rise to prominence in recent years in the Bundesliga.

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The report adds that Liverpool were in fact planning to make a move for the Frenchman next summer.

That’s because his new Leipzig contract – signed earlier this year – contains a release clause worth around £40million.

Until then, potential buyers will have to pitch bids to Leipzig, who are unlikely to buckle under pressure halfway through the season.

Given this is a desperate time for Liverpool, Michael Edwards is expected to try and twist Leipzig’s arm in the coming months.

Should he fail to convince them to sell Upamecano, there are three other defenders also supposedly on the list.

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Ben White is a player that Liverpool continue to monitor, even though he signed a new deal with Brighton earlier this summer.

Leeds failed with three bids for the 23-year-old, who helped them win the Championship title last season.

Schalke’s Ozan Kabak is also a player admired by Klopp and the German outfit are ready to sell due to financial problems.

They are expected to demand around £25million for his services, with room for further discount.

Finally, Torino’s Gleison Bremer has also emerged as a target after being picked up via data.

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