With Liverpool set to ramp up their interest in Schalke defender Ozan Kabak, the German outfit are planning to demand Divock Origi as part of the deal.
According to a report from Daily Telegraph, Bundesliga strugglers FC Schalke 04 are set to demand Divock Origi as a makeweight in any potential deal that would see Liverpool sign Ozan Kabak in the January transfer window.
Liverpool have had to cope with several injuries in defence this season, with both first-choice centre-backs, Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines, while Joel Matip has also had intermittent fitness issues.
This has led to manager Jurgen Klopp utilising Fabinho at the heart of the Reds’ defence alongside the inexperienced duo of Rhys Williams and Nathaniel Phillips. The Brazilian has been brilliant in the makeshift position while the youngsters, too, have performed well above the expectation levels.
However, considering that Liverpool are competing on three fronts, bringing in another established option in the centre-back department in January makes complete sense. To that end, the reigning Premier League champions have been linked with a host of defenders of late, with Schalke’s Kabak also being one among them.
The 20-year-old Turkish centre-back has been with Schalke since 2019, having joined from VfB Stuttgart and has been a regular in the backline for the German outfit. Till date, he has made 36 appearances for the club, scoring three goals and registering one assist.
Kabak has been one of the rare positives in a difficult period over the past eighteen months or so for Schalke. Given his talent and the potential he possesses, the six-time capped Turkish international is a viable target for Liverpool. However, any move for him could now require the Reds to part ways with striker Divock Origi.
The Belgian international has struggled to establish himself as a regular at Anfield, despite scoring some important goals for the club. So far this season, he has featured just seven times in all competitions, playing just seven minutes of Premier League football. The 25-year-old has scored one goal and assisted another.
Origi is believed to be open to a January transfer in order to earn a spot in the Belgium squad for the summer’s European Championships and has already attracted interest from fellow Premier League outfit Wolves. And now, Schalke have emerged as another potential destination for the striker, with the German club set to demand him as part of a deal for Kabak.
While such an arrangement is likely to appeal to Liverpool, convincing Origi to move from a title-winning side to a team battling for survival in Bundesliga could prove to be tricky business. With the January transfer window almost upon us, it will be interesting to see if the Reds push to sign Kabak.