Liverpool transfer chief Michael Edwards has two requirements for January targets

Liverpool: Klopp makes Man Utd penalty claim after loss

Liverpool transfer chief Michael Edwards reportedly has two prerequisites when looking at players to bring in during the January transfer window. Liverpool’s 1-0 defeat to Southampton on Monday has led to further demands for the Reds to bring in more defensive cover this month.

Both Rhys Williams and Nat Phillips have stepped up in recent weeks to play alongside Fabinho, who is currently the only fit senior centre-back at the club.

But Klopp opted to drop Jordan Henderson into defence, forcing a reshuffle in midfield against Southampton.

The change didn’t pay off though as Liverpool looked lacklustre against a Saints side who had been struggling for form over Christmas.

Liverpool are now without a win in three games which has included draws against Newcastle and West Brom.

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And Klopp is still set to be without Joel Matip for another few weeks, including potentially the big fixture at home to Manchester United a week on Sunday.

Ever since both Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez were ruled out for several months, Liverpool have faced increasing calls to bring in a centre back in January.

A number of players such as Dayot Upamecano, David Alaba and Sven Botman have all been touted as potential targets.

But The Athletic’s James Pearce reports that Liverpool have a stringent plan when it comes to making moves in January and a new centre-back is more likely to join in the summer.


Speaking on The Athletic’s Red Agenda podcast, Pearce said: “They very rarely go in for short-term fixes.

“From what I’ve been told, Liverpool are only interested in making a defensive signing this month – firstly if the price is right – and secondly if he’s a player they believe can fit in for the longer term.

“Not just someone who can just do a job until Van Dijk or Gomez are back, but someone who will actually enhance and compliment what they’ve got for seasons to come.

“I think the feeling is that it’s going to be easier to get someone like that in the summer.

“But, quite rightly, fans are worried about the here and now and not recruiting in January could end up proving very costly in terms of the Premier League and the battle for Champions League glory this season.”

Liverpool will be hoping to get back to winning ways on Friday when they travel to face Aston Villa in the FA Cup third round.

The Reds suffered a shock 7-2 defeat on their visit to Villa Park earlier in the season and Dean Smith’s side have proven a tough team to beat so far.

They currently sit eighth in the table – above both Chelsea and Arsenal – and could climb into the top four with their games in hand.

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