Liverpool among three European giants following the ‘evolution’ of 20-year-old Southampton defender – report

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Liverpool are believed to be keeping tracks on the ‘evolution’ of Southampton defender Armel Bella-Kotchap.

The 20-year-old was signed by the Saints for £9m from Bundesliga side VFL Bochum earlier this summer and his impressive start to the campaign has earned him a senior call-up to the Germany squad for the upcoming international fixtures.

Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are also rumoured to be interested in the Paris-born defender, according to Fichajes (via Football 365).

Jurgen Klopp has been labelled as an ‘admirer’ of the central defender according to the report and the south coast outfit will be dreading the prospect of the the Reds raiding them for yet another of their best players – just as Liverpool did when they paid £75m for the services of Virgil van Dijk back in 2018.

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The Merseysiders have struck up a number of deals with Southampton in recent years with the likes of Nathaniel Clyne, Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana and Ricky Lambert all also leaving St. Mary’s for Anfield.

Klopp has a number of decent options at central defence at the moment with Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate regularly battling it out to partner van Dijk at the back while Joe Gomez signed a new long-term deal with the club earlier this summer.

Our No. 4 is now 31 years of age, while Tuesday night’s match-winner against Ajax is also the wrong side of 30.

Although the Netherlands captain is showing no signs of ageing, Bella-Kotchap could act as a long-term replacement for van Dijk and may follow in his footsteps by leaving the Saints for Liverpool.

Strengthening the midfield is believed to be the club’s main priority either in January or at the end of the season, but if Bella-Kotchap continues to perform strongly then Klopp may very well consider a move for the youngster in the near future.

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