Speaking on the latest instalment of The Ornstein and Chapman Podcast, David Ornstein provided an update on Liverpool’s plans for on-loan defender Ozan Kabak this summer.
The 21-year-old centre-back joined Jurgen Klopp’s men on loan with an option to buy from Bundesliga outfit Schalke in January following a string of serious injuries sustained throughout the Liverpool defence.
During his time with the club, the Turkey international has put in some solid displays, as his respectable 6.75 Premier League WhoScored rating shows, leading to speculation that the Reds will trigger a permanent move for the £22.5m-rated man.
His arrival hasn’t been enough to spark a late title tilt, but Ornstein revealed that some sources have suggested that the 2019/20 Premier League champions are considering signing Kabak on a long-term deal in the upcoming transfer window.
He said: “Obviously Liverpool will hope that Van Dijk, Gomez and Matip make a full recovery. There’s no specified date on their returns and Liverpool need to keep an eye on the contractual situation as well, for Van Dijk in particular, and they’re returning from very serious injuries that present no guarantee of how quickly they will get back to their best, if at all.
“And so, a centre-half would always have been on the agenda, maybe two. And that’s where the Kabak situation comes into question. Do Liverpool pay the option, which is £18m plus add-ons? I think they need to let Schalke know around mid-May, I don’t know the exact date.
“Some people I speak to suggest that he will be sent back and Liverpool will try to negotiate a lower fee than the option they agreed. Some people say that won’t work because another team will come in and pay a higher fee for a Kabak, who has impressed to an extent at Liverpool. I really don’t know if they’re going to go for a Kabak as well. But, of course, he was not in the grander plan.”
TIF Thoughts on Kabak…
The reigning English champions have surrendered their crown without a fight this time around, and they’ll presumably be keen to bolster their ranks for the 2021/22 campaign, but it remains to be seen whether Kabak is part of their thinking.