David Alaba would prefer to head for Spain rather than Liverpool once the day comes for him to leave Bayern Munich, claims Dietmar Hamann, with it unlikely that the Reds will able to land any of their top defensive targets in January.
Jurgen Klopp continues to explore all of the options available to him ahead of another winter transfer window swinging open.
The reigning Premier League champions have seen their ranks decimated by injury in 2020-21, with tactical tinkering becoming the order of the day at Anfield.
Much of that pack shuffling has taken place at the back, with the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip taking in untimely spells on the treatment table.
With so much experience stuck on the sidelines, it has been suggested that Liverpool will look to bring in reinforcements at the next opportunity.
Versatile Austria international Alaba, who continues to run down his contract towards free agency, has seen a move to Merseyside mooted.
The 28-year-old is, however, also said to be of interest to La Liga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid, meaning that he could be out of reach for Klopp.
Hamann expects that to be the case, with Dayot Upamecano of RB Leipzig expected to be another centre-half option that will not hit the market until the summer of 2021 at the earliest.
Discussing Liverpool’s links to Alaba with Stadium Astro, former Reds and Bayern midfielder Hamann said: “I think his preferred destination was always Spain. I’m not sure if he wants to go to the Premier League and come to Liverpool.
“The fact that Liverpool are interested is not a surprise because Alaba has probably been one of the best centre-backs – after Van Dijk – for the last 12-18 months. I just don’t see Bayern Munich letting him go in January.
“Upamecano from Leipzig, who is absolutely tremendous at the back, Leipzig won’t let him go.
“I don’t think there is any chance whatsoever that they get a centre-back who will improve them for the next six weeks or next few years.”
Hamann added on Upamecano and the big recruitment calls facing Liverpool: “I think he has a clause in the summer. These clubs won’t sell.
“He [Klopp] needs to see what he can get in January. You look at players who are not in the Champions League, maybe a bit lower down, and I’m not sure this is the type of player that Liverpool need to improve.
“If you have to play Fabinho and Matip, yes he hasn’t stayed fit but maybe you get eight or 10 games out of him. [Jordan] Henderson can fill in. Fabinho is hardly injured. I would stay put for now.
“If an opportunity arises then of course you have to think about it, but I don’t see any of the top clubs letting their best players go in January. I think it’s unlikely they are going to buy one.”
Liverpool have returned to the top of the Premier League table this season, but now have Manchester United breathing down their neck and are aware of the need to have no chinks in their armour as they chase down back-to-back title triumphs.