Jurgen Klopp is ‘close to accepting’ that Dejan Lovren will not be fit enough to start for Liverpool against Bayern Munich on Tuesday.
Liverpool face Bayern in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie without the suspended Virgil van Dijk or injured Joe Gomez.
They had hoped that Lovren could return from the hamstring strain he suffered in the third round of the FA Cup in early January, but time is running out for the Croatian.
It was reported that Jordan Henderson could drop back into central defence alongside Joel Matip as a result, but it seems that Fabinho is Klopp’s preferred option.
Paul Joyce of The Times says Klopp will give Lovren ‘a final chance’ to prove fitness on Monday, and that the centre-half ‘could make the matchday squad’.
But the manager has prepared for the game with the idea of Fabinho ‘easing defensive concerns’, having impressed in the position against Brighton last month.
Henderson will therefore feature in midfield as Liverpool look to build a first-leg lead to take to Germany next month.