Liverpool are very much keen on the signing of Piero Hincapie and are making serious bid for the Bayer Leverkusen defender, though their prospects of when a deal may go through will reportedly rest with on the shoulders of Xabi Alonso.
The Merseysiders are actively seeking a new centre-half to replace crocked centre-half Joel Matip, who is likely to miss the rest of the season following a serious ACL injury. With Jurgen Klopp’s defensive options down as a result, Liverpool are giving serious thoughts to the signing of a elite-level defensive addition in 2024.
As it stands, Liverpool do have both Ibrahima Konate and Joe Gomez as possible partners for first-choice defender Virgil van Dijk in defence. And while opportunities have been granted to promising youngster Jarell Quansah, Klopp knows that his squad will be seriously stretched if they suffer another injury to one of their centre-halves.
At the time of writing, Liverpool remain alive in four competitions, though West Ham do hope to close the door on one of those trophy hopes in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals on Wednesday evening.
But regardless of the result at Anfield on Wednesday evening, Klopp had always intended to use one of the 2024 windows to add another centre-half given Matip’s deal was due to expire in July 2024 anyway.
To that end, Liverpool have reportedly drawn up a list of three potential central defensive options in which they can bolster their ranks. Sadly for Klopp, one of those has already been taken off the table with Liverpool seemingly beaten to the signature of Lucas Beraldo by PSG.
Liverpool ready to make move for Piero Hincapie
However, Liverpool transfer expert Neil Jones has confirmed that the Reds are big admirers of Hincapie and are giving serious thought to an approach in the coming weeks.
And while it’s been confirmed his team Bayer Leverkusen are ready to move the Ecuador international on in 2024, it remains uncertain when they will actually entertain offers for the 21-year-old.
Furthermore, with demand in his signature high, Liverpool may well need a favour from Leverkusen coach and iconic former Reds midfielder Alonso if a move to Anfield is to transpire at all.
As it stands, Alonso will be determined to resist any approach for the player given Leverkusen’s status at the top of the Bundesliga and dreaming of a first ever title in their history.
Explaining the intricacies around a possible deal, Jones told Caught Offside: “There is no doubt that Liverpool need to be looking at a new centre-back, if not now then certainly in the summer, and there is definitely an admiration for Piero Hincapie of Bayer Leverkusen.
“At 21, and with the capability of playing both as a central defender and as a left-back, the Ecuador international is someone who is likely to make a move in 2024, though given the position Leverkusen find themselves in, both in the Bundesliga and the Europa League, I think we can safely rule out a January move.”
When might Liverpool get defensive signing done?
With the signs pointing towards a summer move instead, Jones has explained the type of signing they are looking at.
“Jurgen Klopp hinted recently that Liverpool may find it hard to get the player they really want in January, but they are certainly looking. And a young, mobile, ball playing centre-back is high on their agenda. It may be even higher if another defensive injury arrives before January 1.”
Hincapie would very much fit that bill for Liverpool, though with a huge €70m (£60.6m) exit clause in his deal, any exit would certainly set the Reds back a hefty fee.
The 30-times capped centre-half is contracted to the BayArena until summer 2027 and is also reportedly on the wanted lists of both Tottenham, Manchester United and Real Madrid.
However, he has only started twice in the Bundesliga this season, with Alonso using Hincapie as cover for his preferred back three of Odilon Kossounou, Jonathan Tah and Edmond Tapsoba.
The South American, comfortable on the ball and capable of playing either at centre-half or left-back, looks a perfect Klopp addition and it would come as no surprise were the Reds to follow up their interest with a firm bid, or if indeed conversations had already taken place over a move.