According to reports from South America, Liverpool are making good progress in their efforts to strengthen their defence ahead of the January transfer window.
Ecuadorian outlet Marca90 claimed (via LFC Transfer Room) that the Reds are in ‘very advanced’ negotiations to try and sign Piero Hincapie from Bayer Leverkusen in a deal which’d be worth a minimum of £48m.
Jurgen Klopp’s side had been linked with a move for the 21-year-old in the closing days of the summer transfer window, but for now he remains at the Bundesliga outfit.
Hincapie already has a wealth of experience for a player of his age, surpassing 125 senior appearances at club and international level combined and playing in the World Cup, Champions League and Europa League (Transfermarkt).
The 6 foot Ecuador centre-back (who can also play on the left) boasts one of the best tackling averages for players in his position among Europe’s five main leagues, ranking in the 89th percentile for that metric over the past year with 2.29 per game (FBref).
Liverpool Echo journalist Ian Doyle said in the final week of the summer transfer window that the Reds ‘should really be in for’ the youngster if he were available for a fee around the £40m mark.
While Leverkusen may well demand more than that, the Merseysiders could be willing to push the boat out for Hincapie, not least given his status as a primarily left-footed central defender.
We’d be inclined to wait for other outlets to corroborate the reports from Marca90 before getting greatly excited about the likelihood of a January swoop for the Ecuadorian, but the signs seem promising regarding a possible move for him in the winter.