Liverpool have watched £25m centre-back prospect but Klopp may need to move quickly – report

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Amid all the attention over the last week on midfielders Liverpool could bring in, the Reds are also continuing to monitor prospective additions for their defence.

Levi Colwill has been one of the most frequently cited targets, but the cruciate ligament injury to his Chelsea centre-back teammate Wesley Fofana has effectively ended any realistic hopes of signing the England under-21 gem.

The Daily Express named five potential alternatives that Jurgen Klopp could consider, one of whom is Castello Lukeba.

Liverpool are believed to have watched the Lyon defender firsthand, but they may need to move quickly if they want to sign him amid reports from Sky Germany of an imminent €30m (£25m) agreement with RB Leipzig as they seek to replace Manchester-City bound Josko Gvardiol.

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Reds fans who may have been eager to keep an eye on one of the club’s transfer targets in Khephren Thuram at the recent European Under-21 Championship would also have seen Lukeba in action for France.

He started in all four of their games at the finals and has been a regular in Ligue 1 over the past couple of seasons, featuring 58 times in the French top flight and scoring four goals (Transfermarkt).

Like Colwill, the 20-year-old is predominantly left-footed, a trait Liverpool don’t have among their current centre-back options, so he could fill a notable niche in Klopp’s squad.

Although Lukeba isn’t particularly strong in the tackle or aerially, ranking among the bottom 26% of positional peers in Europe’s top five leagues for both metrics, he makes up for it with his magnificent average of 2.26 interceptions per 90 (FBref).

That places him in the top 1% of centre-backs in the continent for that particular quality, with the Frenchman effortlessly winning possession for his team by cutting out opposition attacks with a perfectly-timed extension of his legs.

At £25m, he’d be a modestly priced option who could grow into being a key figure for Liverpool over the next decade and may be worth considering now that Colwill seems unattainable.

Can Klopp and the Anfield recruitment team pull off a late hijack for the Leipzig target?

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