Sergio Ramos is “on the wane” at 34 years of age and would only be an option for Liverpool to consider in January if they got “desperate”, claims Steve Nicol.
The Reds are expected to enter the winter market for reinforcements at centre-half.
That is because Jurgen Klopp has endured a wretched run of luck on the injury front of late, with the likes of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez being ruled out with long-term knee problems.
Various options have been mooted for Liverpool to consider, with Dayot Upamecano and Kalidou Koulibaly of RB Leipzig and Napoli respectively billed by many as top targets.
It could be that Ramos comes into Klopp’s thinking as he continues to run down his contract at Real Madrid.
Nicol, though, is not convinced that the World Cup winner is the kind of “stop-gap” that the reigning Premier League champions require, with those at Anfield urged to show more long-term thinking.
The former Reds defender told ESPN FC when asked if Ramos could be a candidate to help Liverpool through a difficult situation: “I don't wish to make this sound bad but it depends how desperate they are.
“Listen, if Virgil van Dijk has a setback and it's going to take even longer, if Joe Gomez is struggling, you'd rather go for someone like Upamecano, at 21, who you're going to have for a decade. It's kind of a no-brainer.
“If you can't get him, then you kind of start going down the list.
“Clearly, you want a younger player who is going to be there for some time. You really want to avoid stop-gaps, unless you're in a real hole.
“So, listen, if they got Ramos it would only be for a couple of seasons. I think he's on the wane a little.
“But it wouldn't be the worst signing ever, he would do a job. But even he's injured today, he did his hamstring.”
Ramos limped out of Spain’s stunning 6-0 victory over Germany in the UEFA Nations League.
He could also be facing up to a lengthy spell on the sidelines, with Liverpool in no position to take fitness gambles as they manage their way through an injury crisis.
It may be that Ramos is taken off the table in the coming weeks anyway, with Real still keen to agree fresh terms with their talismanic captain and extend his 15-year association with the club.