Liverpool transfer news: £15m Bundesliga defender linked to fill Mamadou Sakho hole

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If reports are to be believed, we could have a former Bundesliga centre-back pairing next season.

Italian publication Calciomercatoweb claims that Liverpool have enquired about the availability of Stuttgart defender Antonio Rudiger, who has spent this season on loan at Serie A giants Roma.

Calciomercatoweb adds that Jurgen Klopp became a fan while managing Borussia Dortmund, where the 23-year-old played some youth football, and that the Reds are prepared to make an offer of £15m.

Klopp seems to have made strengthening our defence – only the 11th best in the Premier League this season – a priority, and has already agreed to sign Schalke 04’s Joel Matip on a free transfer.

His need for reinforcements in this area has been made more urgent by Mamadou Sakho’s doping ban. The Frenchman will miss the rest of this season, and potentially beyond, after accepting a UEFA charge for testing positive for an illegal substance, understood to be a fat burner, according to Sky Sports.

Martin Skrtel might be moved on, and so may veteran centre-back Kolo Toure, although his performances and attitude in recent months indicate that he could be worthy of another 12-months.

Rudiger is a quick and strong defender with time on his side. He has made 36 appearances for Roma this season, including six in the Champions League, and has nine caps for the German national team.

It is not a potential signing which would get us jumping out of out seats, but Rudiger would certainly provide solid competition for Dejan Lovren, and hopefully Sakho, eventually, as Matip’s regular partner.

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