Liverpool are reportedly eyeing a January swoop for AS Roma defender Roger Ibanez, who is also on the radars of Paris Saint-Germain.
According to a report from ASRomaLive.it, reigning Premier League champions Liverpool are looking to bolster their defensive ranks in the January transfer window, with Roma’s Brazilian defender Roger Ibanez emerging as a potential transfer target.
22-year-old Ibanez came through the youth ranks at PRS FC in Brazil and had stints at CS Sergipe and Fluminense before moving to Europe in January last year, signing for Serie A outfit Atalanta. Having made just two appearances for the club, the centre-back joined AS Roma in January earlier this year.
Having been fairly regular in the starting XI for the Giallorossi in the second half of the last season, Ibanez has become a mainstay at the back this time out, starting each of their 12 Serie A matches so far, helping them to fourth place in the table.
Ibanez had been a transfer target for Premier League clubs Tottenham Hotspur and Leicester City in the summer transfer window, with both the club having been ready to offer €30 million for his services. And now, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain have also emerged as suitors for the Brazil Under-23 international.
Liverpool have been dealt with a couple of major injury blows this season with the first-choice centre-back pairing of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez out on the sidelines, possibly for the rest of the season. Besides, Joel Matip has also struggled with injuries, most recently missing the 2-1 win over Tottenham with a back spasm.
Jurgen Klopp has had to rely on Fabinho as a permanent fixture at the heart of the defence, with the Brazilian being paired with the inexperienced Rhys Williams and Nathaniel Phillips. While the duo has done quite well, bringing in a more established defender would be necessary for Liverpool to defend their league title and compete on other fronts.
A number of defenders have been linked with a January move to Anfield, with Manchester City’s Eric Garcia one of the latest names popping up on their radars. Now, Ibanez has also emerged as a possible target for the Merseyside giants.
However, along with Liverpool, PSG are also interested in the 22-year-old Brazilian, with the club eyeing him as a long-term replacement for former captain Thiago Silva, who moved to Chelsea this past summer after his contract expired. But the Parisian outfit is likely to wait till the summer to make a move for Ibanez, as per the report.
This could play into the hands of Liverpool, who are in urgent need of reinforcements. Roma are likely to demand a transfer fee of €35-€40 million for Ibanez. It remains to be seen if the Reds do launch a move for the 22-year-old or look elsewhere, with Ibrahima Konate of RB Leipzig also on their radars.