Upamecano? Koulibaly? Liverpool will sign ‘A-list centre-half’, says Hutchison

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Dayot Upamecano Kalidou KoulibalyGetty

Liverpool will enter the January transfer market for an “A-list centre-half”, says Don Hutchison, with the Reds expected to set their sights on the likes of Dayot Upamecano and Kalidou Koulibaly.

Two star turns currently plying their trade for RB Leipzig and Napoli respectively have been heavily linked with moves to Merseyside.

That is because Jurgen Klopp finds himself alarmingly short on defensive options.

A spate of injuries at Anfield has left the likes of Joe Gomez, Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Trent Alexander-Arnold on the treatment table.

Liverpool are expected to counter that misfortune by exploring all of the options available to them in the winter window.

Hutchison believes money will be spent, as the Reds are down to the bare bones, and that another proven performer for the present and future will be acquired.

The former Liverpool midfielder told ESPN FC: “[Klopp will] come up with a game plan and he may give one of the rookie centre-halves a chance to stake a claim because it might dent their confidence if they see Jordan Henderson or James Milner go and play in their position.

“So he might give Nat Phillips a start, who's very, very good in the air, I think Rhys Williams is a little bit quicker over the ground, so he might play him [against Leicester] looking at the Jamie Vardy factor.

“But it's important that whoever plays, and I think Fabinho's going to be fit, but I think whoever fills this void in the short term tries to get Liverpool through the next few games, the next period, to try and get them to January.

“I think Upamecano's buyout clause at Leipzig is £40 million [next summer], so that's not a huge amount of money for such a young talent.

“Koulibaly is still at Napoli, who was valued at about £60m, so I think what it does is it really pushes Liverpool into the transfer market to go and buy an A-list centre-half, and when Joe Gomez is back and when Virgil van Dijk is back, they've still got that quality.

“The squad from there will only be stronger.”

Liverpool will be back in Premier League action on November 21 when they play host to Leicester, with the reigning champions facing 11 games across all competitions through to the end of the calendar year and the opening of another recruitment opportunity.