Liverpool have turned down the chance to sign former loanee Ozan Kabak from Schalke for just £8.5 million ($11.75m), Goal has learned.
The Reds were offered the Turkey international, who spent the second half of last season at Anfield, with Schalke desperate to raise funds and cut their wage bill following their relegation from the Bundesliga.
But Liverpool’s stance, for now at least, has not changed, and sources say it is unlikely to do so before the end of the summer transfer window.
What’s the deal?
Kabak joined the Reds on the final day of the winter window, as Jurgen Klopp sought to alleviate the defensive crisis which engulfed his side last season.
Liverpool paid an initial loan fee of £1m plus a bonus of £500,000, and negotiated a fee of around £18m ($25m) for a potential permanent move this summer.
But with Ibrahima Konate joining from RB Leipzig in May, and with Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez all closing in on a return from long-term injury, the decision was made not to take up the option on Kabak.
Liverpool also have Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams, who performed admirably last season in difficult circumstances, and Ben Davies, who was signed from Preston on the same day as Kabak.
Schalke, Goal understands, are so eager to offload Kabak, one of their most highly rated assets, that they are now ready to more than halve their asking price for the 21-year-old, though so far mooted interest
from the Premier League and from Serie A is yet to formalise.
Liverpool, though, are unlikely to be involved.
How did Kabak do at Anfield?
Kabak made 13 appearances in total following his move, and formed a solid enough partnership with Phillips as the Reds revived their Champions League qualification hopes in the spring.
He played in both legs of the Champions League quarter-final defeat to Real Madrid, before an injury cut short his campaign, forcing him to miss the final five league matches.
Upon leaving Anfield, Kabak posted a heartfelt farewell, expressing his gratitude to supporters and stating that the experience gathered during his spell with the club would prove invaluable.