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Kabak an option for Liverpool move as Reds seek to bring in second centre-back before transfer deadl

The Premier League champions are desperately trying to bolster their defensive ranks amid an unfortunate injury crisis

Schalke star Ozan Kabak is a target for Liverpool as the Reds seek to bring in a second centre-back before the January transfer window closes, with Marseille's Duje Caleta-Car also an option.

defender Ben Davies, with the 25-year-old having undergone a medical at Anfield on Monday morning.

Davies will provide Jurgen Klopp with extra cover at the back amid an injury crisis which has forced the German to shuffle his pack during the Reds' defence of the Premier League title.

Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez have missed the majority of 2020-21 with serious knee issues, and are unlikely to play again this season, while Joel Matip and Fabinho have also picked up untimely knocks, leaving Klopp with no choice but to deploy club captain Jordan Henderson as an emergency centre-half.

Nat Phillips filled in alongside Henderson during recent wins over Tottenham and West Ham, but Liverpool are set to dip into the market for reinforcements again having identified several short-term targets.

Goal can confirm that Kabak is on the club's final shortlist, and could make his way to Anfield on loan until the end of the season, with an option to buy set to be included in the deal.

The 20-year-old, who has been consistently linked with the Reds over the past few months, has been one of the few bright sparks in an otherwise disastrous Bundesliga campaign for Schalke, featuring in 14 games in total.

The Turkey international graduated to the first team at Veltins-Arena in 2019 and has since nailed down a regular spot in the team, attracting attention from a number of clubs across Europe in the process.

Liverpool are thought to be close to winning the race for his signature, but the Merseyside outfit are also looking at alternative options, including Marseille's Caleta-Car.

The 24-year-old Croatia international was offered to the Reds over the weekend, and sources have told Goal he is seen as an attractive long-term prospect. However, Marseille will only sanction Caleta-Car's departure if they can find a suitable replacement, with time running out for the two clubs to reach an agreement before the 11pm GMT (6pm ET) deadline.

A move for Lille's Sven Botman, meanwhile, is understood to be a non-starter, though Liverpool sources have confirmed to Goal that the situation is "very fluid" with several options under consideration.

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