Manchester United are reportedly set to provide stiff competitions to arch rivals Liverpool in the race to sign Ozan Kabak from Schalke.
According to a report by Daily Mail, Manchester United are the latest club to have emerged as a suitor in pursuit of Ozan Kabak. The Turkish centre-back is also on the radar of the Red Devils’ bitter rivals Liverpool, with Schalke demanding £25 million in exchange of his services.
Kabak joined Schalke from VfB Stuttgart in the summer of 2019 and has since been one of the rare positives on display for the fallen giants of Bundesliga football. A mainstay at the back at Veltins-Arena, the 20-year-old has missed just five games for Die Konigsblauen when available.
However, for months now, the Turkish international’s future at Schalke has been mired under a cloud of uncertainty, with his exploits attracting him to several top clubs across Europe. In particular, though, Liverpool have been heavily linked with a possible January move for Kabak, with Manchester United, AC Milan and RB Leipzig also showing an interest.
Liverpool’s injury crisis has hardly had any ill effects, with the Premier League champions currently perched atop the top-flight while also having reached the UEFA Champions League Round of 16. However, the fact that Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are expected to miss the remainder of the season means that the Reds need a centre-back, even though Fabinho has filled in magnificently.
With Joel Matip having had his troubles with injuries over the past year or so, it is a prudent move for Liverpool to sign a centre-back, with Kabak among those linked with them. The Merseyside giants, though, now face stiff competition from Manchester United in the race to sign Kabak.
Manchester United are not really in the same boat as Liverpool, in that their both first-choice centre-backs are fit and available. However, beyond Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s options are wearing a bit thin, with Eric Bailly and Axel Tuanzebe experiencing some fitness woes, while Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones are surplus to requirements.
As a result, Manchester United have been linked with a number of centre-backs lately, with Kabak the latest to have emerged on their radar. A combative defender who is adept in a ball-playing system, Kabak has the goods to settle in the physically demanding nature of the Premier League, while also having what it takes to adapt to the ways of Manchester United and Liverpool.
Liverpool, though, might have a slight advantage in that a potential deal including Divock Origi has recently been mooted. Having said that, a £25 million price tag is unlikely to deter either Liverpool or Manchester United, although they do face competition from AC Milan and RB Leipzig. It will now be interesting to see where the 20-year-old lands, with the battle heating up for him.