Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has advised the Premier League champions to make a move for RB Leipzig star Dayot Upamecano in the upcoming January transfer window.
The former defender believes Jurgen Klopp should bring forward any plans he had for next summer in light of Virgil van Dijk’s devastating injury.
According to Transfermarkt, Upamecano has a market value of £54million – but Kicker report that he has a £38million release clause, which activates next summer.
Speaking to Sky Sports (via the Liverpool Echo), Carragher has urged Klopp to “go big” in January. “Liverpool’s next big signing had to be centre-back anyway – next summer,” he said.
“Lovren went, they didn’t replace him in the squad. They’ve only got three centre-backs – one of them, Matip, is always injured – and there were question marks getting spoken about Gomez.
“So there’s no doubt Liverpool had to go big in the transfer market next summer. That was the next one.
“That’s got to be brought forward to January the first. Not the end of January, not negotiating with a club – whoever your target was next summer.
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“There’s a young guy everybody is talking about, Upamecano, who’s at Leipzig. There’s talk of him.
“He’s not the profile of van Dijk, I think he’s only 6’1″ or 6’2″, but if that’s who Liverpool wanted next summer, bring it forward, pay extra money and do it on January the first.
“That means Liverpool would have to get through the next 11 league games without Virgil van Dijk. I think they have to go big in terms of a signing.”
The writing was on the wall for Liverpool to be honest, with the Reds clearly in need of a fourth senior centre-half – as we highlighted back in August.
Joel Matip and Joe Gomez have struggled for fitness during their time at Anfield and the risk of one of them picking up a knock is now even more lethal.
Liverpool have Fabinho to stand-in if it happens, but that takes the influential Brazilian away from midfield – it’s not an ideal scenario and shouldn’t be seen as one.
While Upamecano is certainly an ambitious target, we agree with Carragher – the Reds need to make a move in January, even if it’s for a different centre-half.