Liverpool: Klopp responds to quit rumours
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Dayot Upamecano was attracting plenty of attention ahead of the summer transfer window with Bayern Munich swooping in early to secure the centre-back’s signing, but Liverpool reportedly had a particular reason for refusing to enter the race for his signature. Upamecano has been on the radar of several clubs for a number of years now ever since joining Leipzig in 2017.
At 22 years of age, Upamecano already has bags of experience on the European stage and is tipped to become one of the world’s best defenders in years to come.
It was expected that he would move on to new pastures last summer, with a number of Premier League clubs keen to bring him to England.
But Leipzig moved quickly to sign Upamecano up to a new contract, although an enticing release clause was included which suggested his move away was only delayed by one year.
At £37million, Upamecano’s release clause was expected to attract the attention of Europe’s elite clubs.
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Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool were all being linked with a move to sign the defender with all three clubs eager to improve their current options.
For Liverpool, there is an even bigger need to bolster their defensive line with all four first-choice centre-backs currently out injured.
Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are long-term absentees while Joel Matip’s fitness issues have continued to persist this season.
Fabinho has arguably been Liverpool’s player of the season for his ability to step in to defence but Jurgen Klopp will be keen to push the Brazilian back into midfield as soon as possible.
Signing a permanent centre-back option this summer is now a priority and Upamecano was thought to be at the top of their wishlist.
But they’ve already been forced to look elsewhere with the France international agreeing a deal to join Bundesliga giants Bayern.
However, according to Goal, Liverpool’s interest wasn’t as serious as previously reported.
While Liverpool are said to have ‘considered’ a move for Upamecano, they reportedly never made an official approach due to the position he usually occupies.
Upamecano is usually deployed on the left-side of defence, exactly where Van Dijk plays for Liverpool.
The Holland international will continue to be Liverpool’s first-choice centre-back for years to come and Klopp was seemingly unwilling to make any compromises when it came to Upamecano.
The Reds do have the option of making Ozan Kabak’s loan move permanent for £18million plus add-ons this summer.
The 20-year-old made his debut for Liverpool at the weekend in the humiliating 3-1 defeat to Leicester, which included a calamitous moment between Kabak and Alisson.
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